The Royals Haven’t Learned from the Royals

It was last offseason that the Royals picked up James Shields from the Rays in a controversial blockbuster. The Royals wanted to improve their pitching staff and take big steps toward the playoffs. The Rays were looking to reload with young cost controlled talent, as always, and they saw an offer they couldn’t pass up. Sure enough, the Royals are on pace to be improved by a few games. The Rays, too, are on pace for the same, as they haven’t missed Shields that much. FanGraphs was opposed to the Royals’ side of things, arguing they weren’t good enough to go for broke, and that in order to get better they also subtracted. The Royals, today, are 43-49. This is going to work as our background and setting.

With the trade deadline approaching, teams are having to self-identify as buyers or sellers. At either end, it’s all pretty apparent, but it gets more blurry in the middle, especially what with the still-new extra wild-card slot. Some teams might neither buy nor sell. Some teams might attempt both. You look at the Royals and you’d think they should shed, but talk to Dayton Moore and he’ll tell you you’re wrong. Moore hasn’t thrown in the towel on 2013, and he seems to suggest he’s most interested in adding, adding pieces of immediate value. So, buying. Dayton Moore seems to identify the Royals as a potential buyer.

Before we proceed, a point: this might not be how it actually happens. It’s easy to say things, and there are plenty of reasons for Moore to support his own ballclub in the press. What Moore hasn’t done yet is actually bought, this trading season. The Royals play the Tigers next, and maybe things will become more clear in the coming week and a half. All we have to go on are quotes, and not actions, so it’s important not to make too many presumptuous accusations.

But Moore sure seems sincere, and for evidence of him being an aggressive buyer, just look at a few months ago. Last offseason, Moore had a mediocre team, and he bought. What he has today is a mediocre team, so there’s reason to believe he’ll try to buy again. Or, failing that, he might simply not sell, electing to play out the string with the players he’s got.

A few quotes from the linked article:

“If and whatever we do (in terms of trades), it will be done with the interest of winning more games now. We’re going to keep pushing in all areas to make us a better overall team and ultimately to compete better now.”

“We feel we owe it to the core of players we have signed in the last few years to compete now,” Moore said. “There is a window of opportunity to win for this group, and we’re in the early stages of that window but we’re not going to back off the goal to win.”

Maybe most frighteningly:

“Obviously, the ultimate goal is a world championship,” Moore said. “But how many winning seasons have we had in the last 20 years? Two? We have to overcome that hurdle first and then move past it, and we’re trying to do it as quickly as possible.”

With front offices, what’s equally as interesting as the moves is the thinking behind them. For Royals fans, that last quote should be unsettling, because it reveals a poor understanding of progression. You don’t have to build an 81-win team before you build a 91-win team. A winning season should never be the goal. The goal should be to have a playoff season, or, failing that, a season that sets you up to have a playoff season in the nearer future. The way Moore has behaved and continues to behave, it looks like he’s trying to build an average team first, and a good team won’t necessarily follow from that, because too much might end up having been sacrificed. This is a worry.

The Royals tried. Good for them, I suppose. It got people excited. It certainly got people stirred up. The Royals didn’t make themselves a playoff team, but they forced people to think about the playoffs, and the Royals maybe being in them, and so Dayton Moore made people talk. But this team hasn’t taken a step forward. Not one that’s big enough. Last year’s Royals finished with 29 WAR, and this year’s are on pace for 34 WAR, and they’re eight back in the American League Central, and they’re 9.5 back of the wild card. And while you could say the Royals haven’t hit their stride, it’s not like projections are in love with the bunch.

Check out the projected standings page. The Royals, the rest of the way, are projected for a .475 winning percentage. That’s third-worst in the AL, ahead of only the Twins and the Astros. The Royals, somehow, are projected to be a little worse than the White Sox, and while things are unlikely to play out that way since the White Sox intend to sell, this isn’t empty, nonsensical information. The Royals aren’t bad. The Royals aren’t good. The Royals aren’t making the playoffs.

So you think the offense can be better? The Royals have a team .300 wOBA. They’re projected the rest of the way for a .313 wOBA, which would represent a 30-run improvement or so. Offensive improvement is factored into the Royals’ projected record, which is not a good one. It’s one that’s worse than the Mariners’ projected record. The Mariners, too, refuse to acknowledge their position as should-be sellers, and there are a lot of parallels between Dayton Moore and Jack Zduriencik, but that isn’t a good thing for either one.

The Royals don’t have a good baseball team. They tried to build one, and they failed, building instead a half-decent baseball team that’s a tiny bit better than its current record. Shields has pitched like they wanted him to pitch, so he hasn’t been the problem, but the roster around him has been the problem, which is what people expected to be the case. The bullpen is talented, and the rotation has a horse, and the defense is outstanding, but the pitching depth isn’t there and the hitting depth definitely isn’t there. The Royals were not hard to see coming. What many saw coming, came.

It’s tantalizingly easy to build a case for optimism. Eric Hosmer is showing signs of improvement. Mike Moustakas is too talented, and Danny Duffy is pitching again, and Felipe Paulino is in the process of trying to pitch again, and if things come together, the Royals can pull off an extended hot streak. In isolation, it’s true, the Royals could have a big second half. The problem is that these things don’t work in isolation, and you could make the same or a better case for almost every other team in the league. Every team has things that could break right. The Royals aren’t the only team performing below its ceiling. Just because something is possible doesn’t mean it’s worth clinging to, even if that means admitting a mistake.

And that’s what Moore and the Royals need to do. They need to admit to their mistakes and try to patch things up. Not with the short-term in mind — with the organization’s best interests in mind, extending well into the future. Sometimes it can be admirable when somebody sticks to his guns. Other times it can be stupidly, off-puttingly stubborn, and if you think one thing, and then circumstances aren’t what you expected, it’s perfectly okay to say, “hey, that was wrong.” It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of awareness, and if the Royals won’t acknowledge their own reality, then only deeper still could they dig.

Mountain climbers can ambitiously set their sights on the summit. In the event of changing weather conditions, the right thing to do is turn around and go back to safety. The stubborn thing to do is to press on, and that’s how a lot of people die on mountains. Dayton Moore isn’t going to die, and maybe he’s afraid that admitting to a mistake will deal a blow to his job security, but if he keeps insisting that these are the playoff Royals, he could deal an even bigger blow to his career. He’s already given up major pieces, and the foundation isn’t as strong as Moore seems to think.

It ought to be a no-brainer for the Royals to trade Ervin Santana. He’s a free-agent-to-be, and performance-wise he’s turned back the clock, and the alternative is that the Royals hang on and turn Santana into a compensation draft pick. By trade, they could do better, and they could also conceivably save some money. It would be interesting, albeit ballsy, if the Royals considered putting Greg Holland on the market. Luke Hochevar could be dealt. Most significantly, the Royals could think about dangling Shields, either now or in the offseason or both. Shields is a year and change away from free agency, and he’s not the kind of guy the Royals should be expected to re-sign, at least not to a deal that makes sense for their payroll. Zack Greinke got Jean Segura when he was only months away. Shields himself — and Wade Davis — got the package that the Royals just gave up. There’s the possibility that Moore could get back almost as much as he lost. He might even be able to get back more, ultimately coming out ahead. That depends in part on what you think of Wil Myers.

Moore is committing himself to this team, and to his understanding of this team’s window, but this team’s window isn’t now, and to be honest it probably isn’t 2014. With a few more additions, the Royals might turn into a playoff team next year, but at what long-term cost? It’s almost impossible to see the Royals emerging as one of the league’s best in 2014, given what they have left in the minors and given their budgetary constraints. So maybe, a year from now, the Royals could be a playoff underdog. Then what? If it’s 2013 and 2014 or bust, 2013 is already basically shot, and the Royals have as much chance in 2014 as the Mariners do. Should the Mariners try to put everything they have in that one basket?

Short-term interests are short-term interests, and while sometimes it makes sense to give up long-term value for short-term improvements, the Royals aren’t in that situation. They weren’t in that situation last winter. This is the critical point for Dayton Moore to finally accept: as talented as he thinks the Royals are, other teams exist, too, and many of them are at least equally talented. What the Royals aren’t is unusually talented, and it’s hard to see how they’d get to that point. If the Royals were to reverse course now, it might let some people down, but it could help the Royals in a few years. If they keep trying to make this work, they might just burn up all their fuel.




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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


73 Responses to “The Royals Haven’t Learned from the Royals”

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  1. Jeff Zimmerman says:

    “It’s not as simple as saying, ‘This is what’s going to happen in Year 1 and Year 2.’ That’s bull. If you make enough good decisions, three-year plans turn into two-year plans and five-year plans turn into three-year plans. If you make bad decisions, 10-year plans turn into no plan.”

    Dayton Moore
    June 6, 2006

    +45 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • olerudshelmet says:

      Woe to you, oh earth and sea
      For the Devil sends the beast with wrath
      Because he knows the time is short
      Let him who hath understanding
      Reckon the number of the beast

      For it is a human number
      Its number is six hundred and sixty six

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • lucastill alex says:

      what Lori explained I’m taken by surprise that a mom can get paid $7031 in one month on the internet. did you see this web site>www.Bar40.com

      -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Ivan Grushenko says:

    Isn’t it only a “no-brainer for the Royals to trade Ervin Santana” either if they know they won’t make a Qualifying Offer or if they get back something more valuable than a Comp Pick?

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    • maguro says:

      They’re going to extend Santana, I would think.

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      • Upton says:

        There is no way they will extend Santana. He is going to be offered more than his value in free agency and command something like 5 years. Which isn’t something the royals should pay for anyway. He at most has 2 good years left in him and the Royals can’t afford to just eat payroll for the final 3. (They will already be doing that with Guthrie to an extent.)

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    • Paul says:

      This. Did they not demonstrate in this past draft how valuable those extra draft picks can be, especially for a team whose first pick is near the top of the draft?

      Somebody needs to tell me how Ervin Santana is going to net better than what Miami got for Nolasco and then we’ll talk. Until then, it’s just ludicrous to talk about it. They have a whole farm system worth of 7th inning relievers.

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    • d_i says:

      The way he’s pitching, they would surely make a qualifying offer or get something more than a comp pick in a trade thus no brainer. That’s not to say both can’t change by season end, but as of right now, it’s a no brainer.

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      • Steven says:

        I have a hard time believing teams that would not sign Lohse last year because of the comp pick are all of a suddent going to sign Santana this year. I get that Lohse was 3 years older than Sanata as a FA but he was also better. I also get that Lohse was eventually signed, but for a while it was sounding like he might wait until after the draft.

        Does everyone else really think it is a 100% lock the Royals get a comp pick if they offer Santana a qualifying offer?

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  3. WIlliam says:

    Small market teams need to build from within to be competitive. Its about constantly devolping your own pitching and hitting. When that all comes together and you are already at the top, you make the trades that put you over the top. Any Kansas City trade would make them better now, but the other potential playoff teams are also addressing their weaknesses now. Kansas City is not admitting defeat if they trade their major assets today. Kansas City could and should come out ahead by trading Shields in this market.

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  4. Slats says:

    “I’m not talking about getting to .500, I’m talking about winning the World Series when I say eight to 10 years.”

    Dayton Moore
    May 20, 2009

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  5. Rippers says:

    Some baseball facts since Dayton Moore’s first full season in Kansas City:

    — 28 major league franchises have finished above .500.
    — 22 franchises have made the post season.
    — Each team from the AL Central has played at least once in the post season.

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  6. Cidron says:

    Please trade the chip known as Chris Getz. As long as the return isnt Yuneski(sp) Betencourt that is.

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    • steex says:

      As a Sox fan, I’m in favor of trading a mid-level prospect for a package of Chris Getz and first base coach Rusty Kuntz so long as they agree to always stand near Paul Konerko.

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  7. Paul says:

    We could quote Dayton Moore all day long and it would be fun. Here’s mine: “We’re going into the season with the right 53.” – Scott Pioli

    It has become achingly clear that Dayton Moore is Scott Pioli. The entire front office is Atlanta transplants. Many of them obviously have no idea what the hell they are doing, Ned Yost chief among them. The parallels to the ruination of the Kansas City Chiefs are hard to believe. This may sound like a rant coming from someone who only pays attention to Kansas City sports, but it’s not. It is simply incredibly unlikely that the two major sports teams in the same city could have management teams that nearly identical in their operation, came in with clear mandates that had not been given out previously, and were offered those mandates because their pedigree was unquestioned. And Both GMs surrounded themselves with yes men instead of setting out on their own.

    The troubling thing about where the Royals stand now is not that they traded away a great young player in Wil Myers. It’s that Mike Moustakas should clearly be in AAA right now. But they have absolutely nobody- nobody – to take those ABs. Cheslor Cuthbert might be a decent prospect, but he’s at least a year away. They drafted Christian Colon in 2010 with the 4th overall pick, and now despite being labelled a future utility player, he’s been so awful at AAA that you’d have to really stretch to think he could give you anything close to what the horrible Moustakas has.

    Their idiot manager continues to hit no hit SS in the 2 hole – so that he can bunt over Alex Gordon as early as the 1st inning. I am not kidding. I really, really wish that was an exaggeration.

    I could go on and on, but it would depress me too much to lay out the entire case of failure by this administration. Jeff has done a plenty good enough job of it already, but really this article should be titled: “Dayton Moore Must Go.”

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  8. Warriors says:

    Fuck Dayton Moore.

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  9. Matt says:

    I love the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Makes me laugh every time I see it. But it also makes me a tiny bit sad because it reminds me of the Royals, my favorite baseball team. The folks running this franchise are incapable of learning from their own mistakes – to say nothing of learning from others’ mistakes – and I feel like any success the Royals have will come only after Dayton Moore gets a one-way ticket to Dumpsville.

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  10. Ruki Motomiya says:

    While I understand the projected standings, the Royals are only 8 games back from the Tigers and 9.5 from the wild card, in a city that is likely starting to sour on the lack of winning and Dayton Moore.

    Considering the possibility of random variance in addition to new arrivals giving them a shot, plus the possible revenue and the fact Alex Gordon/Butler are only around for two years, could this be a good idea from an econimic stand point?

    Personally, I think they should go out while they have Gordon and Butler. They don’t have the, in my opinion, the farm system or the fan base to rebuild without trying, and I think that they are doing good enough to buy. I think the Pirates are an excellent example why: Constant losing means attendance went way down, dropping to below 20k per game in 2009-2010. Now, in 2012 (2013 ain’t done after all!), the Pirates have had their highest attendance since 2001. And without a playoff birth. The Royals numbers are similiarly depressed: Even just a winning season or two could drastically raise revenue.

    The bigger issue, to me, is Dayton Moore is probably cluseless on who to buy, so expect Ike Davis and Cameron Maybin or something.

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    • Paul says:

      The Royals numbers are not depressed. Their starter’s SIERAs indicated they were pitching above their heads in the first half, and in the last two weeks they finally started to falter.

      The bullpen, which threw the most innings in the league last season, has thrown the fewest this season. The Royals have played six fewer games than several teams. That their excellent pitching (for them) to this point is going to regress is obvious, but it is compounded by the fact that it will happen over the course of more games than most of the rest of the league – in the middle of the dog days of summer when they always wilt.

      Remarkably, for the past three seasons this team has been relatively healthy. If they suffer a couple key injuries in the second half (which they are due for), they could easily finish south of 70 games. I would be surprised if that does not happen.

      By the way, the fan base is stronger than some perennial playoff teams. Fire Moore and it will get a big shot in the arm, just like what happened with the Chiefs.

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    • Krog says:

      The rule of thumb in baseball is that you can make up 1 game back per week by outplaying your opponents. With approximately 11-12 weeks left in the season, it certainly is possible for the Royals to make up an 8-10 game gap. However, this Royals team is well behind the Tigers and other AL teams in talent that it would take a remarkably lucky run for Kansas City to come back. For instance, Baseball Prospectus’ Playoff Odds Report gives the Royals a 0.7% chance of making the playoffs.

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      • Shauncore says:

        In perfect timing, the Royals made up one game in their first game back from the break by beating Detroit Friday.

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  11. FeslenR says:

    well, it doesn’t help that they don’t give Johnny Giavotella an actual chance at a full time gig…and play guys like Getz instead.

    They also kept putzing around with Frenchy instead of platooning him or just letting him go last season.
    Add to this outside of James Shields and Santana, they don’t really have a reliable starting rotation.

    This pretty much spells out disaster for the Royals, unfortunately.

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    • Ruki Motomiya says:

      They really need to platoon Francoeur. They started to do so last year before Dyson got injured, so the fact they did not is puzzling. It has really hurt them a lot.

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      • Don't See How says:

        Do you think the Giants would trade Frenchy to KC so that the Royals could platoon him?

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        • Ruki Motomiya says:

          Right, sorry, “needed”. I haven’t slept yet, I might be a bit crazy.

          The sad thing is Moore would probably accept it. Buying!

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  12. dtpollitt says:

    Dayton is jerking around guys like Johnny G., too. He brings him up for 2-3 weeks, lets him perform horribly, then demotes him for Chris Goddamn Getz. Dayton Moore is a horrible, horrible GM, and should be fired, along with everyone else in the organization. Last year during the All-Star game weekend a local KC asked David Glass (Royals owner) if he would consider spending more money to help improve the team. Glass just stood there, didn’t answer the question. The follow-up question essentially asked, “Would you be willing to sell the team”, or in other words, “We all hate you so much, can you please leave?” The two radio DJs had their licenses suspended for the all-star game weekend and Glass never answered any of the questions.

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    • maguro says:

      The Royals don’t have a low payroll issue, they have a bad management issue.

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      • dtpollitt says:

        David Glass is a horrible owner. It starts at the top and bleeds all the way down.

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        • maguro says:

          In what respect is he a horrible owner?

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        • dtpollitt says:

          For some reason I cannot reply to maguro’s question below, so I’ll reply to my own.

          I think you ask a fair question–why does David Glass suck so much? I think there’s a host of factors that are in play. First, he pretty much disregards any and all media. He’s rarely, if ever, accessible to the media, and has banned media personnel multiple times for asking fair and hard questions about the team and their lack of progress.

          Second, Glass runs his Royals team much like he ran Wal-Mart; that is, cheaply. He has often cited a number that the payroll needs to stay at to operate at a break-even point, but many externals sources have discredited his claim. This Royals Review piece from last winter is a great example of his lies.

          http://www.royalsreview.com/2012/11/29/3707028/fact-checking-david-glass

          Finally, it isn’t working. Some owners can be hands-off, but when Glass brought in Dayton Moore (and ultimately most of the Braves’ former personnel), it didn’t work, and it hasn’t worked. The failure of the organization runs deep and wide and Glass is not exempt from blame.

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        • maguro says:

          I guess I just don’t agree with idea that the Royals are cheap. Poorly run, yes, but not cheap. They have an $80M payroll this year, which seems perfectly reasonable for a team in that market. I don’t care who the owner is, the Royals aren’t going to run a top 10 payroll in MLB, the revenues just are not there.

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    • Zigs says:

      The Royals two highest salaries are Shields and Santana, showing that the Royals finally decided to pay players this offseason. The problem is that it is too little, too late.

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      • dtpollitt says:

        The Santana trade turned out great; I didn’t like it and am pleasantly surprised. The Shields deal was widely panned by experts and I think the Royals are going to greatly regret not (1) flipping Shields now or (2) doing the deal entirely.

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  13. Baltar says:

    Your article is dead on about the Royals and what they should do.
    However, what Dayton Moore should do is another question altogether.
    His previous quotes about patiently building a World Series team juxtaposed with his new quote about getting to a winning record first make it clear that the owner (owners?) have given him an ultimatum to win now. That ultimatum came before last offseason and is still in place.
    So Dayton Moore should not re-reverse his course now. He must try to add a couple of players who might, with luck, lead the team to 82 wins. That is an achievable goal.
    It’s just a shame that Moore was pressured to do this just as the excellent farm system he had built was about to blossom.

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    • d_i says:

      It’s possible there is a .500 ultimatum (which would be self defeating of a long term goal of making the playoffs which still remains a possibility in 2014 if the right moves are made this year and in the offseason) but I’d say the more likely reason is self preservation/moral hazard. DM knows he can point to a .500 record as improvement and keep his job even if it makes the chances next year slimmer. If he sells and they lose 90 games which would be in the best interest of the team, he might not get a chance in 2014.

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    • Richie says:

      This. This. This. If Dayton Moore tears down/sells now, of COURSE! of COURSE! of COURSE! he gets fired. His only chance to preserve his job is if the Royals this year get past .500.

      Of course Dayton Moore personally ought to and has to go for broke this year. He’s never going to get another GM shot after this. This long shot is his last bullet, and no one’s delivering any more ammo.

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  14. Thufir says:

    Dayton Moore = the Isiah Thomas of Baseball….

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  15. chri521 says:

    Marlon Byrd for Mondesi. Book it.

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  16. Radivel says:

    When I first read this, I didn’t check the author and thought it was a Rany post.

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  17. Forrest Gumption says:

    Why does Dayton Moore still have a job? 7 years of between 62-75 wins should mean the end. Injuries aside, a savvy GM could conceivably get his team from worst to over .500 in 4.

    I want to put money on the Astros finishing over .500 before the Royals do.

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    • illinibob says:

      That’s a good bet. Astros will be over .500 in 2015. The Royals? Hard to see them over .500 this year or next, unless, as the author notes, Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino both come up, and pitch like they did and are capable of. IF that happens, I could see them over .500 next year.

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  18. Forrest Gumption says:

    The Royals currently employ Miguel Tejada as a player in 2013, that alone should speak volumes of Moore.

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    • Bill says:

      He isn’t paid much. I don’t have a problem with having Tejada and other low cost veterans to keep spots warm or to pick up the slack. Sometimes they even are rejuvenated. Last year’s O’s received contributions from many such players. They likely wouldn’t have made the playoffs without contributions from Betemit, Saunders, Wolf, Strop, and McClouth. They had alot that didn’t work out, as well, but Duquette was quick to send them packing.

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      • Ruki Motomiya says:

        Really, that last part is the key one: You have to make sure to send them packing before they give their value back.

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  19. KCDaveInLA says:

    Dayton Moore has been the Charlie Brown of major league baseball execs: wishy-washy, losing, but keeps doing the same stupid things over and over. I’ve never figured out if DM had a blueprint for his success, but it seems like he mostly tries to emulate other teams and does so badly. The Yankees sign big money free agents? Cool! Get Jose Guillen! The Rays have built up through the draft? Awesome! Let’s draft Luke Hochevar and Christian Colon! The A’s trade off their best players at their peak value? Great! Let’s trade the best starting pitcher we’ve had in the last decade for a meh shortstop, a meh centerfielder, and spare bullpen parts.

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    • Richie says:

      The Braves were his clear blueprint. Either Moore didn’t draft as well, or didn’t develop his young players as well. Giving the SABR side of things short shrift was again rather a Bravesy way to approach it.

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      • Richie says:

        Regarding Greinke, cashing in your stars a year before they get expensive when you’re more than a year away from contention is pretty much ‘GM 101′.

        Regarding Guillen, when your boss/owner tells you “here’s $20 mill more for the budget; now sign someone, I’m sick of the press and my country club buddies making fun of me!”, you give the money to whatever FA is available because the Big Boy Clubs didn’t want him. The Brewers under Selig did this every friggin’ year, it seemed. With the local press always going “ohhh, look at the money they spent! They’re showing the fans they want to win!!”

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        • Paul says:

          Your point about player development is the key. They rigidly stick to Braves PD philosophy, but have not had a Tom Glavine or Chipper Jones fall into their lap. It was a good idea to draft some power hitters, because they are needed even in that big park. But they have absolutely nobody in the entire system who knows how the hell to instruct a power hitter. Check that, nobody until Pedro Grifol, who was just brought in this year. And here’s a guy who is a great managerial candidate some day, but I guarantee you he will be gone sooner than later because he has no former Brave connections, and he embraces statistical analysis. It’s a shame.

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  20. Bill says:

    If Dayton Moore plays fantasy baseball I want in his league. That way I know there is always one stupid owner to take my bad players when I need to get a deal done.

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    • chuckb says:

      If Dayton Moore plays fantasy baseball you can guarantee that it’s a traditional 5×5 league and not something like Fangraphs: the game or Ottoneu.

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  21. PackBob says:

    Can’t argue with what Jeff presents here, but it seems hard to put together a winning team, and even harder to put together a playoff team. A lot seems to depend on how a team’s draft picks work out, either as players developed through the system or used as trade chips. But the draft for most of the players selected is a real crapshoot. Top picks that everyone agreed on go down in flames. Unheralded picks rise to the top.

    It seems to me that a large part of how well any team succeeds depends on whether their draft picks happen to work out well or not very good.

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    • Pokkit says:

      What you say is true. Most/many draft picks are indeed crapshoots. However, a franchise’s ability to develop drafted talent is important as well. The Royals have shown an inability to develop starting pitchers, and at the risk of mentioning a cliche, their best homegrown players were not drafted by GMDM (Gordon, Butler, and Greinke). It seems that whatever organizational philosophy the Royals are preaching in the minor leagues is not working, but I’m no insider.

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      • Paul says:

        But you don’t have to be an insider to conclude that it is evident that their philosophy isn’t working. Their most successful draft pick under Dayton Moore has been Greg Holland. A short, righthanded reliever only who was basically the towel boy on his college team until his junior year, and was drafted to reward the area scout. It’s a great story. But it’s also illustrative of the abysmal failure that has been their draft and player development efforts.

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  22. Ruben Amaro Jr. says:

    Dayton Moore is a perfectly good GM. And my success has nothing to do with having the ability to run a 150-200 million dollar payroll.

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  23. you should write one of these about the phillies. ruben still thinks this team is good.

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  24. Max says:

    As a long-time Tiger fan, this made me wince as I was reminded of the era of building for .500, the Randy Smith era and years of losing seasons.

    Our first season back over .500 was a 97-win, World Series season. You have to have that goal. If you build to be mediocre, you always will be.

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  25. Don says:

    I’m old enough to have watched the Royals in their heyday of the mid 70’s-mid 80’s.I can’t remember who their GM was then,but their payroll was low as it is now.But instead of winning 70 games a year like now,they were winning 90-100.So was the GM back then that much better than Moore,or Ewing Kaufman a much better owner than Glass.I just don’t know how the Royals can fix it.If Gordon,Hosmer,Butler,Moose,& Cain could all get hot at the same time,& Shields,Santana,& Guthrie pitch lights out,I could see them making up a few games in a hurry.What’s the deal with Hosmer & Moose.2 1/2 years ago when they both got called up,they finished the season really good.Last year Hosmer couldn’t get it going & Moose played great.This year Hosmer is playing great & Moose has regressed.Are they going to alternate like that every year?

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    • KCDaveInLA says:

      The Royals had a lot of players who were massively undervalued, Amos Otis and Willie Wilson just to name a couple. Their pitching was consistent, fielding was generally excellent, and George Brett was George Brett. On the flip side, the modern-day Royals tend to keep overvalued players too long, and they’re still looking for the next George Brett.

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  26. swyck says:

    This is a team that didn’t trade Joakim Soria – during the three years they stunk while he was their best player and they could have gotten good value for him. That ship has sailed, Soria left as a FA and they got nothing in return. Why would they start doing the right thing now?

    I’m still puzzled by this whole Soria thing and never heard an explanation that ever made any sense. I don’t think there was one.

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    • AtTheWall says:

      At the time, Moore had claimed that closing out games and winning good starts was vital to the development of the young pitchers in the rotation, and that blowing saves and failing to secure a win in their start would damage them irrevocably.

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