"They made a nice move to pluck catcher George Kottaras off of waivers from the A's, but he's only a backup to Sal Perez. Infielder Elliot Johnson might have a use in the second base mess given his .251/.308/.411 career line away from Tropicana Field, but if that's the best they can do, they still haven't done enough in the grand scheme."
I haven't wrote much about the Royals claim of George Kottaras, but I do think that it was one of the very best moves the Royals made this offseason. Hopefully, the Royals realize this and don't award the back up catcher role to Brett Hayes.
As far as Elliot Johnson goes, in terms of players to be named later, I thought he was a very nice pick up by the Royals. His versatility is a welcome addition to any team's bench. Also, he is likely the most legitimate option in team camp, because of his ability to play short stop. Also, Elliot Johnson is a switch hitter, meaning he could offer the Royals a platoon advantage regardless of if Getz or Giavotella win the second base job.
This brings me to my next point. While I think Elliot Johnson is a great fit for the bench, I do not believe he should be given the starting job at the beginning of the season. I've been very firm in this, but I still believe that Giavotella should be given a legitimate shot to be the everyday guy. (I touched on Giavotella's struggles a lot more in this post.) Ultimately, he will once again have to win the job in camp.
Getting back to Sports Illustrated's rankings, here's how the rest of the American League Central stacked up:
- Cleveland Indians A-
- Detroit Tigers B+
- Minnesota Twins B-
- Chicago White Sox D+
The Royals really needed to knock out the offseason if they wanted to contend in 2013. They definitely made some aggressive moves, but now we can only wait and see how they will pay off. Let's hope Sports Illustrated's grades aren't a reflection of signs to come.