Posted on: December 27, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 3:46 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
With just a few days left until 2012 brings us a whole new year, it's only fitting to look back at the year that was. Sure, there's an actual baseball season, including spring training, the regular season and the postseason, but things happen nearly every day throughout the entire calendar year. So we're going to create a fake award and call it a Bloggie.
We'll set the table with some nominations and let you, our readers, vote for the winners. We did Part I on Monday and this is Part II: Electric Boogaloo. Friday, we'll post the winners and our staff picks. Without further ado ...
• @JGuthrie46 (Jeremy Guthrie): The Orioles starter loves his Air Jordans and often gives updates on his newest kicks, but he also trash talks with his teammates in an entertaining feed.
• @BMcCarthy32 (Brandon McCarthy): The A's right-hander may be the most prolific tweeter of English Premier League analysis in baseball. He also shows off a great sense of humor.
• @LoMoMarlins (Logan Morrison): The Marlins' brass may disagree, but Morrison is candid and entertaining with his tweets, even if it got him in trouble with the front office.
• @DatDudeBP (Brandon Phillips): Phillips not only engages with his fans on Twitter, but also brings them into his real life. He's held contests to give away not just merchandise, but also a trip to spring training and even asked fans what to do on a day off, and when a kid invited him to his baseball game, Phillips showed up.
• @str8edgeracer (C.J. Wilson): The off-season's most sought-after starter tweeted during the season, throughout the World Series and even in free agency.
Biggest bonehead move
• A-Rod's popcorn snafu: Usually having a famous actress feed you popcorn is a badge of honor -- unless you're Alex Rodriguez. Not only did Fox cameras catch then-girlfriend Cameron Diaz feeding A-Rod popcorn during the Super Bowl, but then Rodriguez made it worse by allegedly was upset about the shot.
• Mike Leake's shopping spree: The second-year Reds pitcher was arrested for taking $60 worth of shirts from a downtown Cincinnati Macy's in April. He eventually pled guilty to a lesser charge.
• Distracted baserunner: The Reds and Phillies went 19 innings on May 25, but the game could have ended earlier -- with a different winner -- had Phillips been playing more attention to pitcher J.C. Romero than to his conversation with Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. While gabbing with Rollins, Romero picked Phillips off at second. What made it worse was that the Reds had two on and one out -- and were a ball away from loading the bases -- before Phillips got picked off. After walking Scott Rolen, Romero walked Jay Bruce to load the bases with two outs, but David Herndon replaced Romero to get out of the inning.
• Beer and chicken: Beer and fried chicken are great things -- unless you're consuming those two in the clubhouse as your team is playing on the field. The backroom hijinks got Terry Francona fired and may have cost the Red Sox a shot at the playoffs.
• Tony La Russa's communication breakdown: If the Cardinals hadn't come back to win the World Series, Tony La Russa's gaffe in Game 5 would go down as one of the worst of all time. La Russa claimed the crowd noise at Rangers Ballpark prevented him from communicating with his bullpen. He said he wanted his closer, Jason Motte, to get warmed up, and instead Lance Lynn was told to get warm. When Lynn came into the game, his manager was surprised and the Cardinals went on to lose the game.
• Brewers: Milwaukee's "Beast Mode" was inspired by Prince Fielder's kids and the movie Monsters, Inc.
• Diamondbacks: Was the team's "Snake" inspired by the movie Dodgeball?
• Yadier Molina: The Cardinal catcher either did a "cry baby" or motorcycle celebration during the NLCS.
• Rangers: Texas' "claw and antler" started in 2010 and started the signaling to the dugout trend.
• None, they're all lame.
• Jeremy Affeldt: The Giants left-hander suffered a deep cut that required surgery on his right hand when he used a knife to attempt to separate frozen hamburger patties.
• Sergio Escalona: The Houston reliever suffered a spraining ankle when he tripped over a glove during batting practice.
• Matt Holliday: The Cardinals left fielder left a game after a moth flew into his ear.
• Zack Greinke: The Brewers' ace debuted on the disabled list after he broke a rib in a pickup basketball game before spring training started.
• Chris Narveson: Another Brewer pitcher with an odd injury, the left-hander cut himself while fixing his glove.
Most Impressive home run:
• Juan Francisco
• Justin Upton
• Prince Fielder
• Mark Trumbo
• Mike Stanton
Best defensive play:
• Asdrubal Cabrera
• Brandon Phillips
• Ben Revere
• Jeff Francoeur
• Sam Fuld
So, cast your vote and check back Friday for not only the winners, but also the choices from our staff.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Tags: 2011 awards, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Alex Rodriguez, Angels, Asdrubal Cabrera, Astros, Athletics, Ben Revere, Bloggies, Brandon McCarthy, Brandon Phillips, Brewers, C. Trent Rosecrans, C.J. Wilson, Cardinals, Chris Narveson, David Herndon, Diamondbacks, Giants, Indians, J.C. Romero, Jason Motte, Jeff Francoeur, Jeremy Affeldt, Jeremy Guthrie, Jimmy Rollins, Juan Francisco, Justin Upton, Lance Lynn, Logan Morrison, Mark Trumbo, Marlins, Matt Holliday, Mike Leake, Mike Stanton, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Phillies, Prince Fielder, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Sam Fuld, Sergio Escalona, Terry Francona, Tony La Russa, Twins, Yadier Molina, Yankees, Zack Greinke
Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 5:10 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
The Braves have seemingly always believed in developing talent from within and occasionally supplementing from the outside. It's a formula that's worked for many years and has become a blueprint for most of baseball. However, that doesn't mean they don't make mistakes from time to time, and if you're a Braves fan, you probably already rue the date July 31, 2007, already. On that day, the Braves sent Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Beau Jones to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay. The Rangers have been to two World Series since the trade and the Braves none.
1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. Martin Prado, LF
3. Brian McCann, C
4. Chipper Jones, 3B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Freddie Freeman, 1B
7. Jason Heyward, CF
8. Kelly Johnson, 2B
1. Adam Wainwright
2. Tommy Hanson
3. Brandon Beachy
4. Matt Harrison
5. Mike Minor
Closer - Craig Kimbrel
Set up - Neftali Feliz, Jonny Venters, Matt Belisle, Julio Teheran, Charlie Morton
Long - Bruce Chen
Notable Bench Players
Adam LaRoche, Mark DeRosa, Rafael Furcal, Yunel Escobar, Wilson Betemit, Andruw Jones, Jordan Schafer, Tyler Flowers, Brayan Pena and Garrett Jones give this team an acceptable backup at every spot on the diamond and more.
The depth is incredible -- in the pitching staff and the position players. Even if Wainwright weren't available because of his injury, the team has Chen, Morton or the rookie Teheran to step in, or they could move Feliz to the rotation without even having to look anywhere else for its closer.
Heyward is playing out of position in center -- it was between him and Francoeur, so I went with Heyward. Other than that? Well, Wainwright might still have been injured and the rotation is young, but talented.
Comparison to real 2011
There's no chance this team would have missed the playoffs, like their real-life counterparts did. The rotation is solid (even without Wainwright) and would have given first-year manager Fredi Gonzalez more innings, meaning he may not have run Kimbrel and Venters into the ground. The lineup has enough punch to aid that goal. Does this team win the World Series? Maybe. The rotation isn't a postseason killer -- yet, but there's certainly potential.
Next: Toronto Blue Jays
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Adam LaRoche, Adam Wainwright, Andruw Jones, Beau Jones, Brandon Beachy, Braves, Brayan Pena, Brian McCann, Bruce Chen, C. Trent Rosecrans, Charlie Morton, Chipper Jones, Craig Kimbrel, Elvis Andrus, Freddie Freeman, Garrett Jones, homegrown, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jason Heyward, Jeff Francoeur, Jonny Venters, Jordan Schafer, Julio Teheran, Kelly Johnson, Mark DeRosa, Mark Teixeira, Martin PRado, Matt Belisle, Matt Harrison, Mike Minor, Neftali Feliz, Rafael Furcal, Rangers, Ron Mahay, Tommy Hanson, Tyler Flowers, Wilson Betemit, Yunel Escobar
Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:55 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...Team name: Kansas City Royals
Record: 70-89, 22 games back in AL Central
Manager: Ned Yost
Best hitter: Alex Gordon -- .303/.376/.502, 23 HR, 87 RBI, 101 R, 45 2B, 17 SB
Best pitcher: Aaron Crow -- 4-4, 2.80 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 64 K, 61 IP
Few seasons that end with a team 22 games back will garner as much optimism as the 2011 Royals, a team with few expectations other than playing time for young players and giving a glimpse of the future. Even before 2011, that future was bright -- but with some of the performances by the Royals' youngsters and even its less-youngsters -- have made that future seem even brighter.
2011 SEASON RECAP
For the 2011 Royals, the wins and losses were never part of the proposition, it was progress by the likes of Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Johnny Giavotella and Salvador Perez. What the Royals found was that Hosmer is an absolute stud, Escobar can contribute enough at the plate to keep his glove in the lineup and Moustakas, after a rough start, has shown the ability that had so many excited.
Not only were the new toys impressive, so were some of the other, slightly older types, such as Gordon, Billy Butler, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur (none of whom are older than 27). In all, the Royals were sixth in the American League in runs (719), fourth in batting average (.274) and fifth in OPS (.743) -- all marks better than league average.
The problem for the Royals was finding pitching, finishing 12th out of 14 AL teams in team ERA at 4.46, allowing the third-best OPS by opponent batters (.763) and their starters had a 4.83 ERA.
The rotation remains a mess, and without a significant trade or two in the offseason will likely stay that way. It's never a good sign when your best starter was Bruce Chen. There are, of course, good pitching prospects, but the arms the organization was banking on breaking through all took steps back in 2011, with lefty John Lamb undergoing Tommy John surgery, another lefty, Mike Montgomery, struggled in Triple-A, while yet another lefty, Chris Dwyer, struggled in Double-A.
Left-hander Danny Duffy had his ups and downs, going 4-8 with a 5.64 ERA in the big leagues, but his stuff was never in question. Many talented young pitchers have struggled in the big leagues before finding their control.
Former Astro Felipe Paulino (an actual right-hander) pitched relatively well this season for the Royals, going 3-6 with a 4.10 ERA for the Royals in 118 2/3 innings. Luke Hochevar, a former No. 1 overall pick, has teased with his talent -- but seems to do so every year. If this is the year he puts it all together…
The offseason focus is pitching, namely starting pitching. Of course, few teams aren't looking for starting pitching. The difference is the Royals still have some talented prospects to dangle.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Aaron Crow, Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Bruce Chen, Bruce Chen, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chris Dwyer, Danny Duffy, Eric Hosmer, Felipe Paulino, Jason Kendall, Jeff Francis, Jeff Francoeur, Joakim Soria, John Lamb, Johnny Giavotella, Kyle Davies, Like Hochevar, Melky Cabrera, Mike Montgomery, Mike Moustakas, Ned Yost, R.I.P. Royals, Ricky Nolasco, Salvador Perez
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:01 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 12:41 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The story, no doubt, at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland was right-hander Guillermo Moscoso, but there was something else that was more rare than a no-hitter that happened in Wednesday's game -- a 9-3 putout.
Kansas City's Jeff Francoeur threw out Oakland rookie Michael Taylor at first to end the second inning of the A's 7-0 victory over the Royals. It was just the fifth 9-3 putout in the American League since 1974 -- a span that has seen 47 no-hitters in the AL alone. The play is less rare in the National League, where it has been done 31 times since 1974, including once by Francoeur who got Padres pitcher Mat Latos at first.
Since coming up to the big leagues in 2005, Francoeur has 97 outfield assists -- the most in baseball over that span. However, Wednesday was the first time he got a position player.
"I wasn't even thinking about it," Francoeur told the Associated Press. "The ball was just laced at me, with the perfect hop and I just let it go. You kind of feel bad because you do it to a guy who is playing his fourth game in the big leagues, but that was really fun."
Kansas City leads the majors this season with 48 outfield assists, 25 of them have come at home plate. While Francoeur now has 15 outfield assists on the season, he's second on the team in the category to left fielder Alex Gordon, who has 20 outfield assists. Center fielder Melky Cabrera has 12 and Mitch Maier has one.
As for the other side of the play, Taylor isn't exactly a Molina brother. The 25-year-old outfielder has 75 stolen bases in his minor-league career and 15 triples and appeared to be running out of the box (there's only so much that gets caught on camera). In the sixth inning, he even added an infield single -- even if he couldn't beat out the hit to the outfield earlier in the game. He added a defensive highlight of his own on the very next play -- catching a foul ball off the bat of Savlador Perez after it popped out of his own glove (see it here).For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 1:51 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
At the trade deadline, Royals general manager insisted he wanted to keep both Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera around -- and few believed him, or at least believed it was a good idea. While the later may still be true, the former can't be doubted for Francoeur at least, as the veteran outfielder signed a two-year extension with the Royals through the 2013 season.
The Royals signed Francoeur to a one-year contract before the season and he's played well for the Royals this season, hitting .278/.328/.465 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI in 119 games. He's also a veteran presence on a team that is loaded with young talent, although much of it is in the infield.
Francoeur has long been a favorite of Royals general manager Dayton Moore, the Royals' general manager who started his career in the Braves system, like Francoeur. And not only that, he's fit in well with the Royals, who have been the darling of many for their talented minor league system, but his eventual replacement, Wil Myers, is still just 20 years old and seen his numbers drop a bit at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. The best-case scenario is Myers coming up sometime in 2013 and Francoeur to be able to serve as the bridge to Myers in right field.
While just 27, Francoeur is a favorite on the internet for backseat GMs, despite putting up a 2.3 WAR this season according to FanGraphs.com and a positive WAR in all but one season in his career. Still, the internet often paints him as the worst player in the history of baseball for his lower-than-average on-base percentage (.312 for his career) and the unforgivable sin of being a nice guy and having writers write about him being a decent human being.
Is Francoeur the worst player in baseball? Hardly. Is he the best? Hardly. In all, he's a decent player who has the potential to be above-average and at worst, a good guy to have in the clubhouse -- which we all know doesn't matter on Twitter or in your fantasy league.
Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:06 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
With just more than a month to go, we're down to just two races in baseball -- the National League West and the American League Central.
The rest? Done. Decided.
The National League wild card? It's the Braves to not just lose, but to give away in spectacular Cubian fashion. That's not happening. Done.
The American League East? Boston trails by a half-game, so the division is up in the air, but with Boston leading the Wild Card by eight games, both teams are playing in October, all that's left is figuring out seeding, the important stuff? Done.
The American League West? Texas has won its last six, including the last three in Anaheim against the Angels. Done.
At least we have the NL West and the AL Central -- those will at least be interesting for a while.
Looking back at last year at the same time, the Braves led the Phillies in the NL East, but both ended up in the playoffs. In the AL East, The Yankees and Rays were deadlocked atop the division, but again, both went to the playoffs. Sound familiar?
Basically, it looks like we've seen this all before. But you know what? It was pretty fun to watch last year and it will be again this year.
Brewers confident: After Tuesday's win, Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan said the team has to "try to catch Philly," according to the Associated Press. "That's our goal, since we have nobody to really chase in our division, let's go chase Philly." After Wednesday's win, Zack Greinke said, "It's definitely not locked up now, but it's on us mainly," according to the Journal Sentinel. And he added, "it is ours to lose." It is indeed.
Giants' road to repeat: The Giants have the easiest remaining schedule among contenders, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes as he breaks down the remaining schedules for the contenders (and the Cardinals, Rays and Angels). Passan also gives the Brewers more reason to be confident -- the third-easiest remaining schedule, plus the most off days and more home games than road games remaining. As for the AL Central, the Tigers have the best remaining schedule among the contenders. And not only are the Rays well behind both the Red Sox and Yankees in both the division and the wild card, they also have the toughest remaining schedule -- 10 against Boston, six against New York, six against Texas and four against Detroit.
Some people are just jerks: And online, they all have a voice. Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has proof -- sharing the emails he's gotten from people against the proposed statue of Shannon Stone and his son.
Logic may prevail: Although there were reports this weekend that Cubs general manager Jim Hendry's job was safe, but Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman says that's not so certain. What you can blow $251.5 million on Carlos Zambrano, Milton Bradley, Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome and have to worry about your job? Say it ain't so.
Five tool players: Every year I look forward to Baseball America's Tools issue -- and I got it in the mail yesterday. It's fascinating reading and also allows you to geek out about minor league players and what they could become. Over at FanGraphs, they feel the same way, but Carson Cistulli decided to find out which big leaguers have displayed five tools through the "nerdiest possible" numbers. It's great stuff. And if you didn't know, Chase Utley, Troy Tulowitzki and David Wright are good.
CC's history lesson: Yankees starter CC Sabathia spent Tuesday morning at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, saying he drew inspiration from the visit for his start on Thursday in Minnesota. If you're ever in Kansas City, make sure you make it to the museum either before or after you go to Arthur Bryant's. [New York Times]
Tony Plush's kitty kat: Good for Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan, who adopted a new cat from the Wisconsin Humane Society. [Twitter]
Dim your jacket: Tuesday night the umpires working the A's-O's game had to ask two men with LED equipped clothing behind the plate to dim their wares. [Yahoo!'s Big League Stew]
Passport problems: Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur will use his off day on Monday to get a new passport -- his old one expired after 10 years and he forgot about it. The Royals are scheduled to go to Toronto later that day. [Kansas City Star]
Hat flap: The National wanted to wear military hats in Tuesday's game, but Major League Baseball denied their request. Instead, the Nationals wore the hats during batting practice. The main reason? Well, ignore the jibber-jabber from MLB, it's that there was no money to be made, so they didn't want to do it. MLB told the Washington Post that it prefers to for teams to use patches or batting practice for such displays. [Washington Post's DC Sports Bog]For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Alfonso Soriano, Angels, Braves, Brewers, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cardinals, Carlos Zambrano, CC Sabathia, Chase Utley, Cubs, David Wright, Ichiro Suzuki, Jeff Francoeur, Jim Bowden, Kosuke Fukudome, Mariners, Milton Bradley, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Nyjer Morgan, Pedro Alvarez, Pepper, Phillies, PIrates, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Troy Tulowitzki, Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Zack Greinke
Posted on: August 5, 2011 10:20 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
I know this may seem like a dead horse, but I'm still dismayed at the relative silence around Jim Thome's impending 600th home run. He hit homer No. 598 last night and it seems like it was greeted by crickets. My colleague Matt Snyder wrote about this a couple of weeks ago after I touched on it, so it may seem redundant, but is it any more redundant that the constant (and deserved) fawning over Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit?
I've said all this before, but it just feels like it needs repeating -- Thome will soon become just the eighth player in baseball history to hit 600 home runs. So why is it being overlooked?
Is it because the steroid era has devalued home run totals?
Is it because the next guys on the list are Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez? And the guy atop the list is Barry Bonds?
Is it because Thome isn't a Yankee?
Is it because the bulk of his productive years were in Cleveland?
Is it because Thome has done it relatively quietly, not drawing a lot of attention to himself, therefore not receiving a lot of attention?
Or am I totally off base and blowing this out of proportion?
It could be any one of those reasons or a good combination of all of them. It just seems to me, it's something that could and should be celebrated not just in Minnesota, but all over baseball. Thome now has 598 home runs and will soon have 600 -- I'm not saying they need to dig out the dirt from the batter's box after his 600th and sell the dirt in keychains (like they did for Jeter), but it should be something we watch, anticipate and celebrate.
The long and winding road: If you don't read every word that comes out of Chris Jones' computer, you're missing out. Canada's finest's most recent piece is on the strange journey of Giants pitcher Barry Zito. I can't recommend it enough. [Grantland]
Here today: Most are assuming that Jose Reyes will re-sign with the Mets this offseason, but not so fast say Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino says the Mets are unlikely to give him the "Carl Crawford money" he is assumed to desire (and should be able to command). Apparently it's not just the money that the Mets are worried about, but also the number of years. The Mets aren't excited about giving the injury-prone Reyes seven years.
Get back: Ryan Zimmerman is back to his old form, even though he's been back on the field for nearly two months. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that it took a while to break up the scar tissue that resulted from his abdominal tear and is no longer experiencing the soreness that had him skipping his post game workouts.
Let 'em in: Ozzie Guillen's time in Chicago just seems to be at a natural end -- the team has underperformed and everyone seems to be tired of the marriage. Guillen sounds like he's over managing the White Sox in this interview with MLB.com's Scott Merkin, while he tells Yahoo! (via the Miami Herald) that he'd go to the Marlins "with a lot of class," and that it'd be "an honor to manage the Marlins." With Florida moving into a new park next year, it seems like the natural fit -- and he could manage there until Jeffrey Loria loses his patience at the All-Star break next year.
Here today: Red Sox minor leaguer Brandon Jacobs has no regrets about his choice to bypass a football scholarship at Auburn to sign with the Red Sox. Jacobs was a prized running back at Parkview High School in suburban Atlanta, but was drafted by MLB -- and a $750,000 signing bonus later, he found himself on the diamond instead of the gridiron. The 20-year-old has 14 homers and 26 stolen bases at Class A Greenville (S.C.). Even though Auburn won the national championship last season, Jacobs said he watched the game and didn't feel a twinge of regret. An interesting note, Parkview is the alma mater of another prominent football player who skipped a scholarship to play baseball, the Royals' Jeff Francoeur. [Boston Globe]
It was 10 years ago tonight: The Hardball Times looks back at the Indians' rally from an 11-run deficit to beat the Marienrs on Aug. 5, 2001. One thing to keep in mind about that, the Mariners won 116 games -- if they hold a lead, it's 117, a record number of wins. The 1906 Cubs also won 116 (in 10 fewer games).
I've just seen a face: Can't get enough of of Kenta Imamura, the Ichiro impersonator? Well, you're in luck. Apparently Imamurua is a professional Ichiro impersonator and is nicknamed "Nicchiro" -- "ni" is Japanese for two. [Super Ichiro Crazy]
Maybe I'm amazed: A baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio and kissed by Marilyn Monroe sold for $59,750 on Thursday. The bidding started at $17,000 and quickly escalated. [New York Daily News]For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 600 HR, AL Central, AL West, Barry Zito, Brandon Jacobs, C. Trent Rosecrans, Giants, Ichiro Suzuki, Indians, Jeff Francoeur, Jim Thome, Jim Thome watch, Joe DiMaggio, Jose Reyes, Mariners, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, NL East, NL West, Ozzie Guillen, Pepper, Red Sox, Royals, Ryan Zimmerman, Twins, White Sox, Yankees
Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:34 am
Edited on: July 15, 2011 1:34 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
If you're a Royals player and not really cheap and under team control for several more years, you know that come July there will be trade talk.
Last year the Royals dealt Kyle Farnsworth, Rick Ankiel, Alberto Callaspo and Scott Podsednik before the July 31 deadline. This year, they could move several players, including outfielder Jeff Francoeur, lefty Jeff Francis and outfielder Melky Cabrera.
The one thing that's different this year is that Francoeur doesn't want to go. Francoeur has a mutual option for $4 million next season.
"People keep asking me about it," Francoeur told the Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton. "And what I say is I'm sure if a team came to the Royals and overwhelmed them [with an offer] for me or Melky, they'd probably have to do it. But you know what? I think a lot of us will be here."
"Let's say you trade me and Melky, you're just starting over," Francoeur said. "If you're trying to build something to go to the next level, at some point you've got to make a stand and keep guys."
That said, are Francoeur and Cabrera really the guys you keep around? Neither player is the long-term solution. When the Royals talk about their future and their possible contention in 2013 or 2014, it's not Francouer or Cabrera that is expected to be in right field, it's 20-year-old Wil Myers, currently in Double-A, who should be manning right at Kauffman Stadium.
Francoeur is a talented player, but he's hardly a first-division starter. This year he's hitting .265/.308/.443 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI, pretty much typical Francoeur numbers (he's a career.268/.310/.427 hitter). Cabrera is hitting .293/.332/.455 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI, nearing career-best numbers all-around. Cabrera is just 26 and under team control through next season.
The team may want to keep one of the two around to play right with Alex Gordon in left and Lorenzo Cain in center field next season. That said, if there's a decent offer, neither Francoeur or Cabrera is irreplaceable -- they're both in Kansas City for a reason.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.