You try not to wish ill will upon people. Even your rivals (this doesn't include you, Ohio State). But if we want the Tigers to succeed, they will need to have a better team than their division rivals. So when I ask the Royals and Dayton Moore, "What would you say you do here?" I'm not exactly angry about it.
The Royals began the offseason with a lot of moving parts. Your exhaustive list of free agents reads: Ben Zobrist, Johnny Cueto, Franklin Morales, Ryan Madson, Jeremy Guthrie, Alex Rios, Greg Holland, Alex Gordon and, most importantly, Jonny Gomes. The Royals, a team with a relatively limited budget, had a lot of decisions to make.
I can't say I agree with their choices. It started off well with a two-year, $11.75 million contract for Chris Young. As a not-so-proud recipient of Mike Pelfrey, I'm intimately familiar of how much of a steal that is. They signed Joakim Soria for three years and $25 million, which can be a good deal as long as he isn't pitching for the Tigers. And I certainly understand re-signing Alex Gordon, but four years and $72 million for a 32-year-old whose major asset is defense seems very steep for a small market club. That $20 million hit in 2019 is not going to be a good time. [Ed.: Says a fan of the team paying Victor Martinez $17 million in 2018]
After the Gordon signing, things went a bit sideways. I am, of course, referring to paying Ian Kennedy $70 million. Yes, the pitcher who has a 4.27 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over the last three years. There is something to be said for how ridiculous the pitching market has become, but there were plenty of better options available. Even our friends at Royals Review had a hard time figuring this signing out.
This decision was compounded by their latest deal to wipe out the remaining three-year, $15 million dollar contract of catcher Salvador Perez and sign him to a five-year, $52.5 million contract. The argument was that the team knew how valuable the world series MVP was to the team, and to lock the clubhouse leader up with a friendly contract.
But these moves provide more questions than answers for the future. With so much money sunk into somewhat questionable contracts, the Royals are going to be in a world of financial hurt come 2018. That is when Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and even Jarrod Dyson become free agents. Without an Ilitchesque influx of cash, the team is going to be losing a portion of their core.
So I feel for you, Royals. You had to make some hard decisions while your team is in its prime. I'm just glad you decided on Ian Kennedy and Alex Gordon over Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer.
The Tigers played baseball yesterday!
And they lost. DOOOOOM!
Just kidding, let's find all the positives. Matt Boyd was sharp in his first start. And Michael Fulmer's intensity was on display. Also, Justin Upton batted second. Worth keeping an eye on where he lands in the lineup as spring training goes on.
30/30 club no longer takes members
With the considerable downturn in steals, there simply aren't many 30/30 players anymore. Save us Mike Trout!
Please look at Brett Phillips laugh
Click on this link and you will feel better. I mean, look at his face:
The next CBA is going to get a little nasty
With the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire on Dec. 1, 2016, the path to agreement this time around is wrought with variables. There is more money than ever, a former player in Tony Clark as union head and a commissioner with less power than Bud Selig. David Cameron lays out what will likely be the hardest CBA to date.