PDA

View Full Version : Rob Neyer on the Royals "plan"



edabbs44
09-04-2008, 10:18 PM
Kind of sounds like what we've witnessed over the past couple of years. Read on, readers:


Royals so need to have that signature moment

Thursday, September 4, 2008 | Feedback | Print Entry

In case you missed it, I'd like to run a comment from "nikpin" that followed yesterday's post about the Royals and GM Dayton Moore


Moore needs to realize that K.C. won't be able to win a title, or even contend for that matter.

He can't afford to hand out contracts like Jose Guillen and Gil Meche got. Even if those contracts had worked out well they still would just be a middling team in the AL Central. He needs to do a full strip down of the franchise and try to trade Meche, Zack Greinke and Guillen this offseason. Greinke would command a premium prospect package similiar to Mark Teixeira and Dan Haren which would greatly enhance the rebuilding process that needs to be undertaken in K.C.

Meche has three years and $35 million left on his deal, but if K.C. was willing to eat a chunk of that money they might find someone willing to give them 1-2 premium prospects along with some farm system filler. Both Meche and Greinke could be hot commodities this offseason due to the weak starting pitching market.

I don't believe that nikpin would be a better general manager than Dayton Moore. (I don't believe that I would be a better general manager than Dayton Moore. Actually, I know I wouldn't be.)

But nikpin's analysis here is spot-on. The Royals' current business plan almost certainly cannot succeed. Can you recall a single franchise that turned things around while trying to build from within and wading (but not swimming) in the free-agent waters? I can't.

I've criticized the Royals many times for committing $91 million to Gil Meche and Jose Guillen. In response, my friends ask, "Shouldn't the Royals spend the money if they've got it."

Sure. You can spend it on draft picks, or 16-year-old Dominicans, or the best doctors money can buy. There are lots of ways to spend money.

Or you can save it for the day when the right free agents might get you to 90 wins. But forget about the money for a moment. The problem isn't the money so much as the mindset. When you spend $91 million on Meche and Guillen, the mindset becomes, "We're about winning, now."

Trade Mark Grudzielanek while he's still got some value? Trade Ron Mahay before his talent catches up with his numbers? Nope, because that doesn't mean more wins now.

Nikpin is exactly right. Zack Greinke and Gil Meche are both hot commodities, and trading them -- especially Meche -- for prospects is exactly the best thing for the future of the franchise. There is no smarter move the Royals could make this winter.

In any team's season or history, there are signature moments. When the Twins (finally) dumped Livan Hernandez this season, it was a signature moment, a moment suggesting they were brave enough to admit their mistake and smart enough to correct it. If they do beat out the White Sox, it's that moment that will define their season for me. When the Rays traded Delmon Young for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett, it was a signature moment, a moment suggesting they were smart enough to recognize and address a serious deficiency. Today that looks like an obvious move, but at the time the Rays were said to be trading a future superstar for a pitcher with eight career wins and a shortstop who can't hit.

This winter there probably won't be a signature Royals moment. Not unless some assistant director of information technology wonders aloud, "Is it worth considering trading Meche for a couple of prospects?"

The signature moment is when he's laughed out of the room.

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=neyer_rob

The bolded part especially rang true for me.

Johnny Footstool
09-05-2008, 12:29 AM
What's especially bad about the Royals is the fact that they have had a number of top-5 draft picks in recent memory, and have missed on virtually all of them.

Add that to the stinkpile they got in return for Dye, Damon, and Beltran, and you've got the recipe for prolonged failure.

Team Clark
09-05-2008, 02:34 AM
What's especially bad about the Royals is the fact that they have had a number of top-5 draft picks in recent memory, and have missed on virtually all of them.

Add that to the stinkpile they got in return for Dye, Damon, and Beltran, and you've got the recipe for prolonged failure.

I couldn't agree more. Of course an organization will miss now and then. Just happens. The Royals seem to miss annually. Sad. Dayton should have stayed in Atlanta.

edabbs44
09-05-2008, 06:35 AM
What's especially bad about the Royals is the fact that they have had a number of top-5 draft picks in recent memory, and have missed on virtually all of them.

Add that to the stinkpile they got in return for Dye, Damon, and Beltran, and you've got the recipe for prolonged failure.

I don't know about that. Their last six top picks (prior to this year) were Greinke, Lubanski, Butler, Gordon, Hochevar and Moustakas. 4 of the 6 are in the majors, one has the potential to be a bust (though is still young and in AAA) and another was only drafted a year ago and doing fairly well in Low A for a HS kid.

Prior to Grienke it was a wasteland.

flyer85
09-05-2008, 08:31 AM
Iif you are a small market franchise and attempt to win now while building for the future you will only succeed in doing neither. Which is what the Reds have been caught in for the last 10+ years.

The Reds, like the Royals have failed to cash in on their major league talent by holding onto assets for too long. What does it mean for the 2009 Reds? I'm guessing they will take a crack at trying to maximize wins yet it still won't be nearly enough.

Johnny Footstool
09-05-2008, 10:18 AM
I don't know about that. Their last six top picks (prior to this year) were Greinke, Lubanski, Butler, Gordon, Hochevar and Moustakas. 4 of the 6 are in the majors, one has the potential to be a bust (though is still young and in AAA) and another was only drafted a year ago and doing fairly well in Low A for a HS kid.

Prior to Grienke it was a wasteland.

You're right, they do appear to be turning it around with their recent drafts.

They did their best to destroy Greinke, but somehow he's becoming an excellent pitcher. Butler and Gordon should be good. I'm thinking about guys like Colt Griffin, Mike Stodolka, Kyle Snyder, Jeff Austin.

flyer85
09-05-2008, 10:19 AM
You're right, they do appear to be turning it around with their recent drafts. now they need to cash in some chips before they depreciate.

HokieRed
09-05-2008, 10:34 AM
The Reds unfortunately held onto their major chips until they were too depreciated to bring anything. O'Brien understood this, as is clear from his attempt to move Griffey in 2005. Krivsky's tenure was marked by the ill-fated attempt to both build and contend, brought to its ultimate absurdity this season as we added players who would just "put us over the top"--like CP or Cordero--at ridiculous costs. What we can hope is that Jocketty has enough experience, and is in a strong enough position with Castellini, that he will be able to say there is no chance of contention in 2009, and likely 2010, and that the building must be for farther out. This years's free agent action should tell us something. I hope we don't overspend for a left fielder, for instance, who will be only marginally better than what we're very close to having in-house (either Votto, with Alonso at 1st by 2010, or a Dorn and righthander platoon).

RedsManRick
09-05-2008, 11:02 AM
There's an interesting contrast between the Royals plan and that of the Rays, for example.

In the case of the Royals (and arguably the Reds), you have a team building from within, trying save face most years, and then spending big on a few FA. In effect, the team is hoping that their young talent matures in the places not filled by FA and on the same time frame. Unfortunately, if the young talent fails to mature quickly enough, or if the "wrong" players mature, you're still left with holes in the roster and no flexibility to fill them. And if the FA don't work out, you're really sunk.

The Rays by contrast stopped pretending to try to win. They invested full bore in their youth and built out enough talent to fill every roster spot, potentially. Then, after the talent had matured, they went out and filled a few remaining weaknesses with trades and FA moves. The trick is that they didn't lock themselves in to the FA investment until the talent base was already there -- and more importantly, well defined in terms of where the weaknesses were. They weren't reliant on a perfect storm.

Ltlabner
09-05-2008, 11:13 AM
Where does "Speed and Defense" fit into all of this?

REDREAD
09-05-2008, 11:24 AM
The Royals' current business plan almost certainly cannot succeed. Can you recall a single franchise that turned things around while trying to build from within and wading (but not swimming) in the free-agent waters? I can't.


Sure, there have been plenty of teams that have pulled that off.
Altanta did it with Bream and Pendleton.
Milwaukee added Suppan.
Cleveland dabbles in the FA market.
Boston is very active in farm development and FA.
Detroit also pulled it off recently.
Florida added IRod

In fact, I'd say more teams were able to transform themselves with farm AND FA, as opposed to farm only. Take our Reds. If they were somehow able sign a solid setup man, and a productive OF this offseason, wouldn't that speed up the rebuilding process?

GAC
09-05-2008, 11:24 AM
So would it be called a royal plan? :D

westofyou
09-05-2008, 11:38 AM
So you own the Reds and you read this:

http://www.wcpo.com/content/sports/story.aspx?content_id=153481d5-07a6-407f-b7a8-e32caa7e3314


The Cleveland Indians are moving their AAA affiliate to Columbus, just in time for the opening of a new ballpark there.

The Indians have informed Major League Baseball of their desire to terminate the player development contract with Buffalo, which is Cleveland's current AAA affiliate.

The Indians plan on making the move by the beginning of next baseball season.


Do you go low rent and wait?

And if you do when the time comes will there still be a fan base?

It's a business first and every business needs a market, the accountant is always lingering in the hallway.

Chip R
09-05-2008, 11:49 AM
The Rays by contrast stopped pretending to try to win. They invested full bore in their youth and built out enough talent to fill every roster spot, potentially. Then, after the talent had matured, they went out and filled a few remaining weaknesses with trades and FA moves. The trick is that they didn't lock themselves in to the FA investment until the talent base was already there -- and more importantly, well defined in terms of where the weaknesses were. They weren't reliant on a perfect storm.


I think with teams like the Royals - and the Reds - since they have a relatively recent winning tradition, they are afraid to go into full rebuild mode. The Rays have no winning tradition - or seasons. They have always been losers and no one expected any different from them.

flyer85
09-05-2008, 11:51 AM
I think with teams like the Royals - and the Reds - since they have a relatively recent winning tradition, they are afraid to go into full rebuild mode. Whatever the reason it goes a long way to keeping them from having success in either the short term or the long term.

Until you build the foundation(strong minor league system) there is no use to spend a lot of money building your house.

RedlegJake
09-05-2008, 12:12 PM
The Royals plight is worse than the Reds, though. They have a much smaller area market, and have lost a lot of ground to Saint Louis and Chicago for fans who should be theirs. The owner, Glass, was a Lindner like "Rescue the Team" owner who stepped in to "save" the franchise when the Kauffman Trust group expired. He needs a GM who can take him aside, who he trusts enough to believe on faith, who can tell him to button up the hatches for more losing as we build this thing from within, and convinces him to quit signing Meche's and Guillen's until the moment arrives when the influx of new kids needs a booster shot to get over the top. They've drafted better lately, I disagree the last 2 or 3 years of drafting have hurt - the horrible barren drafts of the 5 years prior to that have killed them. A good GM should point out that the best players are still a couple years from emerging and to throw their chips into more kids by trading off anyone and everyone who can bring multiple prospects. Right now I'd work like crazy to move Meche and Gullien, but also dangle Greinke, Gordon, Teahen, Butler, Soria and DeJesus. Those guys could bring back 12 to 15 excellent prospects to add to Hosmer and Hochevar for the future.

hebroncougar
09-05-2008, 12:35 PM
Minnesota Twins anyone?

Dan
09-05-2008, 02:02 PM
Anyone else remember the term "Rebuild on the Fly?"

M2
09-05-2008, 03:41 PM
So you own the Reds and you read this:

http://www.wcpo.com/content/sports/story.aspx?content_id=153481d5-07a6-407f-b7a8-e32caa7e3314

Do you go low rent and wait?

And if you do when the time comes will there still be a fan base?

It's a business first and every business needs a market, the accountant is always lingering in the hallway.

Move them to Portland!

I'm only half joking. I'd move them to Vegas and put one-way glass in the luxury boxes.

IslandRed
09-05-2008, 09:59 PM
Right now I'd work like crazy to move Meche and Gullien, but also dangle Greinke, Gordon, Teahen, Butler, Soria and DeJesus. Those guys could bring back 12 to 15 excellent prospects to add to Hosmer and Hochevar for the future.

I dunno. There's such a thing as pruning a tree too far.

Johnny Footstool
09-06-2008, 12:32 AM
Yeah, I'd keep Gordon, Butler, and Soria -- they'll be cheap for a couple more years, Soria is a legit stud, and Gordon and Butler should develop into upper-level hitters.

Trading Greinke, Teahen, and DeJesus could bring in some top-quality, MLB-ready prospects. If the Royals were savvy, they would go for it.

GAC
09-06-2008, 05:55 AM
So you own the Reds and you read this:

http://www.wcpo.com/content/sports/story.aspx?content_id=153481d5-07a6-407f-b7a8-e32caa7e3314



Do you go low rent and wait?

And if you do when the time comes will there still be a fan base?

It's a business first and every business needs a market, the accountant is always lingering in the hallway.

There was a pretty sound fanbase there supporting the Yank's Columbus Clippers. And Columbus, due to it's central location, is pretty much divided between Cleveland and Cincy sports affiliates (Reds, Indians, Browns, Bengals).

I think it's a sound move for the Indians.