|Moore Not Doing Much for KC|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on March 17, 2010
Royals general manager Dayton Moore is smart. He realizes the importance of on-base percentage. Moore, however, hasn't followed through on obtaining those types of players.
See the 2009-10 offseason. The Royals added catcher Jason Kendall (.327 OBP in 2009, .301 the year before), and he turns 36 this year. Catchers don't age gracefully, and Kendall signed a two-year contract. Rick Ankiel crossed Missouri, bringing with him a .285 OBP in 2009 and .337 the year before.
Scott Podsednik was another free agent addition, and he has the reputation of being a lead-off hitter. Of course, reputation will only get you so far. He posted a .353 mark last season and hasn't reached a number that large since 2003.
Now, it takes a while to implement your plan as a general manager and to build your team. But you don't have to make stupid free agent signings for the sake of making them. How else could you justify a two-year contract to Kyle Farnsworth? The team is attempting to make him a starter because he was such a horrible reliever last season.*
*And a good reliever they have, Joakim Soria, appears to be relegated to the bullpen. Soria has four excellent pitches and was a starter coming through the minor leagues. However, the Royals won't try him in the rotation even though Soria threw a perfect game in the Mexican League within days of being selected by the Royals in the Rule V draft. Losing teams have to take chances, and Soria is where the Royals should gamble.
The Royals also traded for first baseman Mike Jacobs last offseason. If there was one discerning factor about Jacobs, it's that he doesn't get on base. Or that he can't field. Or that he's just not a very good player. But this was another move Moore made. The team traded for shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt when the Mariners were trying to dump his salary. He doesn't deserve a job at the Major League level, regardless of how optimistic the team may be of him.
There have been some good moves made over the last few years. They signed Cuban pitcher Noel Arguelles as a free agent and pitcher Aaron Crow from last year's amateur draft. Both have the talent to pitch at the Major League level, as does Mike Montgomery, a left-handed pitcher in their system. Mike Moustakas represents the team's best position player prospect, which shows the dearth of talent the Royals have in their farm system. But he's a solid player.
Moore deserves a few more years to show he's got the talent to be a general manager at the Major League level. But considering what he's done in the past, he shouldn't have too long of a leash.