The Kansas City Royals have the feel of a team that everyone (see: everyone) is thinking will show yet another year of improvement, but the real under-the-breath question is with that potential superstar lineup (Hosmer, Gordon, Moustakas, Butler), will that improvement be incremental (82+ wins) or a big step (90+ wins), knocking the Tigers off the top branch? Remember, most teams are 82 win teams -- it's that last 10 games or so that makes the difference between division winners and basement dwellers.
One step the Royals can -- and should -- take now is by signing Alex Gordon to a long-term deal, which Rany Jazayerli explains, but Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star reminds us why fans are expecting the worst.
Also, Bob Dutton of the Star went on a bit of a tear a little bit ago, explaining why the club isn't likely to make a move for another starter. What he's saying boils down to the suggestion that Aaron Crow and Mike Montgomery will get a shot.
Last, don't miss our completely bad ass Complete Organizational Chart series, with the Royals chart released last night:
Gordon Should See Extension Soon - Rany on the Royals
"The one exception to this policy is if a player is willing to sign a long-term deal. Last January, Billy Butler exchanged numbers with the Royals – and one week later, on January 23rd, they announced a four-year deal. I suspect the same thing will happen here – once the Royals put all their other contracts to bed, they can devote all their resources to getting Gordon signed for the long term. But if Moore and Gordon aren’t shaking hands at the front of a press conference by month’s end, getting antsy is a perfectly justifiable reaction."
Royals need to give Gordon long-term deal now - Sam Mellinger | KC Star
"The last time the Royals lost a homegrown star was an embarrassment that still haunts them. It essentially came down to Carlos Beltran wanting $1 million more than the Royals offered over three seasons, the team refusing to budge and standing behind a silly line in the sand rather than keep their best player.
Since Moore’s arrival, ownership has been much better. They gave big free-agent contracts to Gil Meche and José Guillen. They signed Zack Greinke, Joakim Soria and Billy Butler to long-term deals. They gave out record amounts to amateurs through the draft and internationally. The narrative is changing, but the memories remain."
- Kansas City Royals Complete Organizational Chart - MLB Daily Dish
We're excited to present you something that's been in development (and continuing development) for quite a while. It's a complete organizational chart, from the upstairs offices all the way down to the last open bench spot in Single A, and it includes salary, arbitration, and option details in a single handy chart you can't get anywhere else...
Twitter / @Royals_Report: (a series of tweets from Bob Dutton adapted to narrative format):
Royals always capable of surprise but don't see them signing or trading for another starting pitcher. Really want to look at in-house options at this point (Aaron Crow, Mike Montgomery, etc.) Things could change if July arrives and still in the race. Could see a rental.
Montgomery will get every chance to win a spot. Paulino and Duffy enter as incumbents behind 3 locks: Sanchez, Hochevar and Chen. Crow will get a real look. Teaford in the picture. And don't forget about Mendoza, who is out of options. I think Mendoza is a real sleeper. He'll be watched closely to see if his 2011 breakthrough at Omaha (and late call-up) is the real thing.
One Year Ago Today: Gil Meche Retires - Royals Review
"In the end, the Royals paid Meche $43 million for four years, and overall it's a difficult contract to evaluate. Meche pitched very well in 2007-08, then moderately passable in 2009, then barely at all in 2010. By a pure WAR or whatever you prefer calculation, the eventual deal of 4/$43 wasn't that terrible, though it was incredibly front loaded performance wise. Of course, that changes if we take away the Royals' good fortune, as they paid north of $35 million for Meche's last, oh, 23 starts and some desultory relief work."