2011: An Offseason Success Story

People are always quick to say Dayton Moore is a bad GM. The problem with that statement is people don’t look at the full GM work that he does. Moore has built the Baseball America number one minor league system, which prevents him from being a bad GM but also something people around here are tired of talking about. GM has made some of the most boneheaded moves at the pro level, which everyone wants to crucify him for, which keeps him from being a good GM. So let’s except for this blog that Dayton Moore is an average GM.

Isn’t that what you should have for an average team, ran by an owner who wants an average return from exceptional fans. Well, being exceptional fans we just can’t accept things around here being average or really below average as they have been. What stinks is Baird conditioned an entire fan base to expect us to build great minor league systems and sell them off. Some say we saw it again this year with the Greinke trade. I disagree. There is a great chance 2 of the 4 prospects start in the majors and a good chance another one does. That is the kind of trade a small market team needs to make. At best we picked up instant impact at short and center and a lock down 8thinning guy to get us to Soria. We all know what the worst is. More realistically, we now have a good piece for a bad pen, someone probably better defensively than Yuni, but not as good offensively. A Triple-A centerfielder and a potential third starter in three years. I consider this trade a win, when all we gave up was two diva filled years of unhappy Greinke. Never forget Greinke blocked a great deal for the Royals from the Nationals, NEVER FORGET THAT.

The Royals also acquired Jeff Francis. A 30 year old, former 19 game winner who has had arm trouble but has also showed signs of greatness. I am personally invested in this signing because the Rockies are my National League team and Francis brought me plenty of happiness when I lived out there. I feel Francis will get some of his form back and be a 12-14 game winner, which is a heck of a lot better than what we had there. This is a win. The Royals acquire Jeff Francoeur. Come on, we knew this was going to happen. We got our hopes up it wasn’t but let’s be real. So Jeff Francoeur is a Royal (Who’s name I will misspell at least 50 times on twitter this season).One thing about Francoeur I took away from the Digital Digest interviews was, he is making a difference on the difference makers. Butler seems happier with him here and hopefully that will spell out a big year for him. I will keep this as a loss but if he is the difference maker in the clubhouse then it could be a win

Oh but then there’s Melky Cabrera. The guy all Yankees fans told me was the next Yankee legend… Um Yankee legends don’t end up with the Royals… Not even in the 80s…. I guess he’s not that bad. In his last full season in the AL, he hit 13 HRs which would be tied for fourth on last year’s team. His .274 batting average puts him behinds DDJ and Pods, tied with Gregor Blanco and ahead of the rest of the potential Royals outfielders. So if you look at the team of last year, the move makes sense, I guess, but I think everyone around here would have actually been happy to see GMDM throw out some of the kids at Omaha instead of signing another maybe outfielder. So let’s think like we can only imagine GMDM was thinking.

‘Melky is better than anything we currently have and I just did a pretty good flip on Farnsworth, Pods and Ankiel. I should be able to do as well for Melky and Franny.’

Well GMDM I can’t jump on board here. You have a good young, center fielder that you got when you traded the best player on the team and now don’t have anywhere to play him. Loved the Ankiel/Pods signing, I was wrong. Hated these signings and I hope I am wrong again and that you flip them for good AA or AAA talent, however this is a big loss for GMDM. Sorry.

Now at 2 wins, 2 losses, we get to the move to my favorite move. I started #BringbackChen on twitter as soon as he was a free agent. Boras wanted 2 years; GMDM said no way….So did everyone else. Bruce came back for one more year. I am such a sick fan that this made me happier than anything that has happened on this team all last year and this off season. He led the team in wins even though he started in Omaha. Why can’t he do it again? This time for a full season. This time to the tune of 15 plus wins. We could get thirty wins from two free agent signings. That’s more than we got from our Cy Young Winner and our $55 Million Dollar Man. This is a win! Another thing that is very positive for GMDM is, according to Greg Schaum, he has never had to go to arbitration with any player. He got another clean sweep this year! For now, even giving Kyle Davies $3.4 Mil, GMDMs ability to avoid arbitration is a win.

Billy Butler’s 4 year contract is another HUGE win! It was really cool that this story broke during fan fest and lifted all the Royals fan spirits at the Overland Park Convention Center. It’s a step in the right direction to say the Royals are going to try and contend. It allows some of us to say, ‘look they are spending money! We are getting better. Quit being Negative Nancy’s!’ I am so excited for this season!

I went in to this offseason expecting the Royals to trade Greinke and lose 100 games. Now I feel like the royals could win 70 or so and finish out of the cellar. No fan should be happy for 4th but if fans expect low and wish high, you are much happier when the team over performs rather than underperforms. Billy is coming in happy. He’s going to be the leader this team needs. Maybe they’ll surprise us and win 82 maybe they won’t but we still have baseball and a little something to look forward to.

Troy “KCRoyalman” Olsen can be heard on 810 Radio Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-11pm as part of 3 guys in a garage. Follow him at twitter.com/kcroyalman and facebook.com/kcroyalman.

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