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.