Monday, June 17, 2013

If I were GM...

Some of this may be obvious to the casual baseball fan, but if I were General Manager of the Kansas City Royals, I would do the following things over the next several weeks:

* When Jarrod Dyson is healthy enough to re-join the major league club, release Jeff Francoeur. Dyson and David Lough have proven this season that they're better contibutors than Francoeur, despite his power surge in yesterday's game. Francoeur is an amazing personality and a great guy to have in the clubhouse. But with the exception of his exceptional throwing arm, Francoeur is a liability. I would recommend trading Francoeur, and obviously as GM I would take that route if available, but who's gonna want him in any kind of decent trade? Releasing him is the only option. And heck, if he is claimed off waivers, the Royals might get some salary relief or a player-to-be-named-later in a waiver trade.

* Give Dyson a chance to earn the extra starting position. He's earned it. But I would keep him on a short leash. If he stops hitting, and if his incredible speed doesn't help to produce runs, I would flip David Lough to the starting position with no hesitation. Heck, since Dyson's injury, Lough has practically been the starter anyway.

* Trade Ervin Santana, even if the Royals are in the chase by the trade deadline. Santana is having a pretty solid year so far, and it turned out to be a really good pickup. I think he could help us win down the stretch. But not long after the trade deadline, two really promising arms - Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino - will be returning to the team after recovering from Tommy John surgery. And they're gonna need a spot to fill. I would trade Santana for either prospects or a run-producing second baseman to a National League contending team in need of pitching.

* Figure out the infield situation. George Brett's presence as hitting coach has coincided with a resurgence by first baseman Eric Hosmer, but the same can't be said for third baseman Mike Moustakas. He may need to spend some time in the minors to figure things out. I'd give him to the All-Star Break, and if he doesn't get it together, send him to Omaha. Alcides Escobar is struggling at the plate this year, but I like him as the NO. 9 hitter instead of the No. 2, and I don't have any problem with him remaining the every day shortstop. Then there's second base. I love Chris Getz' attitude, but he's not a major-league caliber everyday player. The second base job needs to belong to Eliot Johnson and/or Miguel Tejada until a more permanent solution is found. That solution could be a trade (see above) or the emergence of Christian Colon in the minor league system.

* If the Royals don't have a winning record by the All-Star Break, it's time to fire Ned Yost. This team should be winning. And some of his decisions as the field skipper have been downright baffling. And keep this in mind: the last time a team fired Ned Yost during the season, by the 2008 Brewers, that team made the playoffs. If Yost fails, I like John's idea of offering the job to Frank White. If the Royals have to fire Yost, it probably means we're mostly writing off this season, so I'm good with giving an inexperienced White a chance to prove himself. But long-term, I think we should be looking for a successful, experienced major league manager.

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