Saturday, February 23, 2013

Your Royals Offseason at the Helm

Since all of us love to second guess decisions, I thought it would be fun to take a moment to play out the offseason in some different manners. In order to make this post work, we are going to have to take some liberties. First off, we are going to make the assumption that any free agent could have been had at equal cost for the Royals. Second, we are going to say that any players that were traded, could have been had for an equal bevy of prospects.

So based on my quick math, the Royals spent the following on additions this winter:

  • Ervin Santana: $12 million
  • James Shields: $9 million
  • Jeremy Guthrie: $5 million
  • Wade Davis: $2.8 million
  • George Kottaras: $1 million
  • Brett Hayes: $600K
  • Elliot Johnson: $500K
  • Guillermo Moscoso: $500K
  • Total: $31.4 million
Of course, additional funds could be available by non-tendering the following:
  • Luke Hochevar: $4.56 million
  • Felipe Paulino: $1.75 million
  • Chris Getz: $1.05 million
One thing we won't allow is hypothetical trades for players that weren't dealt this offseason. Another thing we won't allow are trades involving Royals on the active roster. You can't dump Francoeur's salary to Phillies for example. However, you can deal prospects if you can build a similar package to that which was received by the team trading the player. 

Here is a link to MLB Trade Rumors' free agent tracker. For simplicity sake just divide the total value by the years of the contract and that is how much of your budget the player will eat up. We will make an exception for Jeremy Guthrie. Quite frankly, at the end of the offseason we can compare our rosters here and determine a winner based off of the WAR of their final 25 man roster. Here is what I have come up with:

  1. I would start by non-tendering both Luke Hochevar and Chris Getz. Raising my offseason budget to $37 million.
  2. I like the Kottaras claim so let's go ahead and do that to solidify the back up catcher spot. $36 million.
  3. I would sign Anibal Sanchez to a 5 year, $80 million deal. This would leave me with $20 million.
  4. I would sign Jeremy Guthrie to the exact same deal he signed with Kansas City, leaving me with $15 million.
  5. Give me Brandon McCarthy for two years at $7.75 million per. $7.25 million.
  6. Finally, I'll sign Scott Baker for one year at $5.5 million. $1.75 million.
  7. On Opening Day, I would still have Wil Myers left in Omaha in order to delay his free agency clock. Also, Scott Baker isn't expected to be back until Mid-April. Here is my roster by late April:
Gordon LF
Myers RF
Hosmer 1B
Butler DH
Perez C
Moustakas 3B
Cain CF
Escobar SS
Giavotella 2B

Kottaras C
Falu IF
Francoeur OF
Dyson OF



Obviously, hindsight is 20:20. One of the most important skills for a General Manager is his ability to forecast the market. This concept is eliminated in this game. Also, as has been previously stated, this game assumes that all things are equal on the free agent market. It is easy to sit back later and pick out the free agents that the Royals should have signed, but let's try to play this game out prior to the season. Royal Revival's other contributors will likely have their offseason plans up over the next couple of weeks. 

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