Joe Posnanski once wrote about how, roughly ten years ago, the Royals decided not to buy Negro Leagues replica uniforms for their Negro Leagues tribute day — like every other team that runs such a promotion — because they didn’t want to pay the $20K or whatever it would cost to do it. Lately that story has been used to illustrate the bad old days in Kansas City, after which a transition to “but now the Royals are running like a quality club” is made.
Old habits apparently die hard, however, because Sam Mellinger reports — and condemns in sharp prose — the Royals’ doing it again. No Negro Legaues uniforms on Negro Leagues promotion day. This despite the fact that Kansas City is the home of the Negro Leagues Museum and the Royals have probably the closest relationship with that organization of all baseball teams. Or at least should.
Is there an explanation for this that doesn’t involve parsimony? Mellinger doesn’t think so. And given that this isn’t the first time the Royals have done this, I think the burden of proof is on them to explain why they aren’t going with the Negro League throwbacks.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.