Posted on 17 February 2012.
Alex Gordon and his new contract have been the hot topic of the Kansas City Royals off season. To pay or not to pay? But the Royals have to take into consideration that if they show they are willing to pay players now, the younger players, with future contract opportunities, will be shown the willingness of the Glass family to spend a little money.
Photo Courtesy of Minda Haas
Young talent can be both a blessing and a curse. Yes the upside of young talent means that you will be able to have success at a reduced rate. But, the other side of that is the fact that as the youth of your organization grow older they become arbitration eligible and ask for the big money. So will the Royals be willing to pay these younger generation of players in their organization?
Well, Alex Gordon for example, had a career defining year last year. Which for his was great timing because not only was it his last chance to show fans that he is the player everyone thought he was but also his last chance for the Royals to keep him on the team. The one thing that the Royals do not want to do now is lose Gordon. But they may have to dip deep into their pockets to keep him. Paying Gordon now will kill two birds with one stone. Not only will the Royals be able to lock up a solid leadoff hitter, who plays great defense, and also is a leader for this team. But they will also show the young guys that the checkbook is open and that they are willing to win.
The problem with the Royals of recent past, i.e. Glass family regime, is that they were all about making money. While everyone on Earth would love to be able to make money in every venture they are involved in sometimes you have to take risks to get the bigger rewards. The one thing that every Royals fan wants is to win. The fact that the organization has been in the green amidst having a team that is a perennial loser should show how loyal this city is to their team. Now if you make money by losing how could you not think that you will make more money with a winning team. This city would go bonkers to have a winner at the Truman Sports Complex. The stadium would be filled every night. The merchandise flying off the shelves. The money just rolling in. So making a little they have accomplished by spending a little. But spending a lot will make them a lot more money in return.
If the Royals are willing to show the Hosmers and Moustakas’ of the world that they money will be their when their time comes, not only will this allow them to keep players in house but also the word will spread and free agents will want to come play in Kansas City.
For example, the 2003 Detroit Tigers lost 119 games. They spent nearly 46 million dollars on payroll that season. Over the last nine years they have gone from worst to perennial best in the Central Division. Not only did they do this by developing their young talent that they acquired through high draft slots but also by showing the willingness to pay free agents the big money to play in Motown, i.e. Victor Martinez, Maglio Ordonez, and most recently Prince Fielder. By showing some players that they will pay them whatever it takes, others have come along with them.
This is what the Royals should model themselves after. Yes everyone want them to win within the next two years and that is a very good possibility but what happens after that. How does this team become a dynasty and perennial contender not only for the division but also for the American League pennant.
They achieve this by spending money now to show potential future Royals that they will spend the money on them as well.