Catching up with the Kansas City Royals: Royals Review

This off-season The Nats Blog will be conducting interviews with sites from all thirty teams. One team a week leading up to the start of the 2011 baseball season. This week I spoke with Will McDonald from Royals Review, one of the top Kansas City Royals blogs on the net, to talk about their recent shakeup and if we should expect any more moves in the future.

TNB: What is the general sense around the Royals fan base of trading away David DeJesus?

Royals Review: Depends on who you ask. There’s a minority segment of Royals fans (primarily the saber crowd and a few others) that were really high on DeJesus. That segment is also generally down on GM Dayton Moore, so many of them are not high on the trade. The bulk of fans, I think, don’t really care. DeJesus was always a player that a percentage of fans just never really liked.

TNB: What will happen to Zack Greinke this off-season?

Royals Review: I think it’s 50/50 that he’s traded. There’s a market for him and apparently the Royals are listening. The Royals are going to have to be overwhelmed to make a trade, and I don’t think that Greinke has a cache within the game that truly reflects his value. It’ll be fascinating to watch.

TNB: Joakim Soria is one of the best relievers several fans have never heard of. In your opinion, should the Royals hold on to him or trade him away while his value is high?

Royals Review: Well, in my opinion, I would generally be in favor of trading Soria. Closers are overrated. That being said, Soria is signed to an incredibly long-term, team-friendly contract. Soria’s making just $4 million in 2011, and then the Royals have a club option for him until 2014. I’m sure the Royals think that they’ll be good by 2014, so I don’t see him being traded.

TNB: Looking back, was signing Gil Meche to a 5-year $55 million deal a mistake?

Royals Review: Depends on how hard on the Royals you want to be. The reception history of that contract is interesting. When it happened, everyone hated it. Awful deal. Then, after Meche was good his first two seasons, it was a sign that Moore knew pitching and could be savvy. Great signing. Then, it started to slide back again. In 2007 & 2008, Meche was more than worth his salary. On balance, it isn’t going to quite even out, given that the final three years of the deal aren’t going to produce much. But really, that’s how most long-term contracts to pitchers go. Who knows, maybe he’s vaguely effective in 2011. He won’t be worth his $12 million dollar salary but he might be somewhat useful. Overall, it wasn’t a great contract, but it wasn’t so bad that it hurt the team really.

TNB: Realistically, how far away is this team from being competitive again?

Royals Review: There’s a scenario in which the Royals can be competitive in 2012, leaning heavily on a liberal interpretation of “competitive.” The AL Central is going to be interesting because the White Sox and Tigers are living on borrowed time and should be fairly bad in a few years. That will make life easier for the Royals.