Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Royals Fail to Sign Dunn; Settle on Bloomquist

It seems the Willie Bloomquist deal has sent the Royals blogosphere into a bit of a tizzy.

For the record, I don't like the move, either. Bloomquist is one of those players whose names I have heard, but never had any idea who they were. My initial reaction to the signing went something like this: Willie who? Didn't he play defensive back for the Raiders last season? What's that? Baseball? Infield? Poorly? Oh... okay.

Most of the bad blood directed towards General Manager Dayton Moore has been targeted around the money going against a bunch of average to below average players who, in total, are getting more money than it would take to sign Adam Dunn or another proven slugger like him. I find two faults with this logic.

1.) These signings were made over a period of time, beginning before the effect of the economy on every baseball team not owned by a Steinbrenner was fully understood. When the Royals traded for Mike Jacobs, Adam Dunn wasn't even tossed out as an option, because it was assumed he would cost more than the Royals could spend. I won't blame GMDM for addressing one problem and moving on.

2.) There was more than one problem. Hoarding money for one big time player while hoping you can get replacement-level talent from the minors to fill other holes is problematic. Players get hurt. Underperform. Turn into Andrew Jones in the blink of an eye. Some of Moore's moves won't work out and that's the point. The Royals can't afford to make just one move.

I don't agree that Bloomquist is the guy, but the fact is Tony Pena Jr. sucks, neither Callaspo or German has played a full season at second, and Mike Aviles might see his chariot turn into a pumpkin when the clock hits midnight in Spring Training. Somebody will need to play in the infield and Wee Willie is just a bit of insurance.

The fact is, the Royals have gotten better this offseason, which is all I ever hope for.

Mike Jacobs hit 32 home runs last year. Ross Gload hit 3. Mike Jacobs is better.

Coco Crisp hit 283/344/407 and stole 20 bases. Mark Teahen hit 255/313/402 and stole 4 bases. Coco Crisp is better.

For the Royals to make a big impact in 2009, Greinke and Meche will need to repeat their performances from last year, and the young guys like Butler and Gordon will have to show significant improvement. Even with somebody like Dunn in the lineup, that needs to happen for the Royals to have any chance.

Pitchers and catchers in 30 days. I can't wait.

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