It’s that time of year when the Kansas City media asks Royals owner David Glass for his thoughts on the team’s underwhelming performance and this season Glass’ focus seems to be on the 48-46 team’s lack of consistency.
Here’s some of what Glass told Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star in a lengthy interview worth reading in full:
I thought we’d be more consistent. At times, we’ve played extremely well. At times, we’ve played not so well. It’s the inconsistency that has surprised me. But we’re in a good position, I think, to make a run for the playoffs. If we have a good second half, there’s no reason why we can’t be in the playoffs.
And, as usual, Glass gave votes of confidence to longtime general manager Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost, indicating that he expects both to be back in 2015.
I think they’ve both done a good job. Dayton is one of the best baseball people I know, and I’ve been around a lot of them for the last 60 years. And I think Ned is a very good manager. … The one thing I’ve learned about Ned and Dayton both is they are as obsessed with winning as I am. All three of us have a real problem when we lose. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not just committed to winning, I’m obsessed with winning.
If they stay above .500 this would be the Royals’ third winning season since 1995 and they’re on pace to finish with fewer than 90 wins for the 25th consecutive year. Moore has been on the job since 2006 and he hired Yost as manager in 2010.
I look forward to the 2015 version of these same quotes from Glass.
The Dodgers have signed lefty Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract.The deal was reported to be imminent over the weekend, but was finalized today following Hill’s physical.
Hill missed a good deal of time in 2016 with blister issues — and he’ll be 37-years-old on Opening Day — but when he was healthy he was fantastic, posting the best season in his 12-year career. He had a a 2.12 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 110.1 innings between the Athletics and Dodgers.
Along with a healthy Clayton Kershaw a maturing Julio Urias and Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers rotation looks to be a strength in 2017.
UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that a deal is in place pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known. UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears it’s in the four-year, $62 million range. That will make him, temporarily at least, the highest-paid closer in baseball history.
12:15 PM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Francisco Giants are close to a deal with closer Mark Melancon.
Melancon had an outstanding 2016, posting a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and a 5.42 K/BB rate in 71.1 innings while saving 47 games for the Pirates and Nationals. You may recall that the Giants had a strong interest in Melancon last summer. It was a well-founded interest given the bullpen woes which waylaid San Francisco in the second half of last season and continued on into the playoffs.
The terms of the apparently impeding deal will be known soon enough, but Rosenthal reported yesterday that Melancon was fielding offers in the four-years, $60 million range. That’s a lot for a closer, but it’ll probably look like a bargain compared to the deals signed with the other two top closers on the market, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Some have speculated that Chapman could get a deal closer to $100 million than $50 million, though that seems optimistic.
What the past couple of seasons have shown, however, is that having a top bullpen will get you very, very far in Major League Baseball. Champan may have been gassed at the end of Game 7, but he was essential to the Cubs’ World Series title. Powerful bullpens gave the Royals a title in 2015 and the Indians an AL pennant this past year. A weak one was, obviously, the Giants’ achilles heel.
Their great need at the back end of the pen, according to Rosenthal’s report, is apparently about to be filled.