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Another Day, Another Greinke…

…okay, same Greinke, but he’s still a Royal for now. It looks like things are moving a little slower in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes than people had originally expected. More teams are entering the fray than Lee’s agents for sure and also the rest of Major League Baseball expected. That is definitely putting a hold on the Greinke deal that is sure to shake the baseball world. Word out of Orlando is that Dayton Moore is asking the world for Greinke, as he should. The same word indicates that he’s having a very hard time finding a taker for him at that price. If he continues to hold out for what he wants, some team will get desperate. It happens every year. As long as Greinke keeps his mouth shut, the deal should theoretically get better up until about mid-to-late January.

Enough about Greinke, let’s talk about the other big Royals deals of these meetings. Oh right…nothing has happened! I don’t remember a year when the meetings were this dull in terms of action. I had hoped and expected that after a night of drinking with their counterparts that some deals would go down yesterday, but not so much. Today is pretty much the last chance for any big deals to happen as tomorrow is the wrap up. You all remember going to conventions of some sort, and the last day was spent saying tearful goodbyes. And if you’re picturing Dayton Moore crying and hugging Theo Epstein right now then you’re not alone. Anyway, if a deal is to happen, it’ll probably be today, though groundwork for deals we’ll see over the next couple of weeks were probably set this week.

On to non-meetings news, Ned Yost has indicated the he’s leaning toward an infield with Mike Aviles at third and Chris Getz at second. This is bad news. Offense figures to be a bit of a concern for this team, so if you’re going to replace an offensive minded player like Wilson Betemit in the lineup, it better be to improve your defense exponentially. That’s why I prefer Dyson in center. While Blanco is fine there, Dyson is truly amazing out there. I believe he could be a positive contributor even if he hits .230/.290/.320 because of how well he plays center. In Chris Getz, you don’t have a plus defender replacing a plus potential bat. You have a slightly above average defender who can’t really hit.

Getz’s bat can hide in a good lineup, but the Royals don’t have a good lineup yet. Add to that the fact that his double play partner, Yuniesky Betancourt*, is a huge regression candidate this year as his average and on base percentage were not far from his career norms and his slugging percentage was driven by an extremely high home run to fly ball ratio compared to his career averages. His previous career high was 4.9% and in 2010 it was 7.6%. I know that 2.7% doesn’t seem like much of a jump, but it really is.

I might contradict myself here, but the fact is that two months of Betemit’s defense at third isn’t going to cost the Royals as many runs as his bat makes up. Well, I hope that’s the case. The reason it’s only two months is because in June, Mike Moustakas should be with the big club and playing third every day except for against the toughest of lefties. The reason that this is contradictory is that Getz won’t cause too much damage in just two months before Aviles is shifted back to second to make room for Moose. But it would be nice for Aviles to play one position and be comfortable there. We’d all prefer it be short, but I’m afraid that ship has sailed.

Maybe this is all coach speak to keep Betemit motivated or maybe Ned Yost really does think his best team comes from Aviles at third and Getz at second. The fact remains, though, that Wilson Betemit needs to be in the lineup every day. Yost made some comments that Betemit needs to sit a little bit more to keep his legs fresh throughout the season, and I’m okay with that, but if he’s hitting like he was last year, he needs to be starting at least 130 games. You just can’t relegate one of your best hitters to the bench.

A point I brought up a little bit ago about the Royals not having a good offense may be met with some raised eyebrows by loyal readers who remember saying that this team may actually be on the verge of an above average offense. I haven’t changed my tune at all. I do think there’s a chance that they’ll be above average, but substituting Getz for Betemit is not a good beginning to that. And I have a feeling that adding Moustakas is not going to make a giant impact in his first season, which is why it’s so important to essentially have this as a free season rather than counting toward his arbitration clock.

Sometimes this organization is infuriating. This particular idea isn’t a big deal at all. It’s just jabbering in December, but it’s an indicator of the mindset of the management. On days like these, just think about a lineup of Hosmer, Myers and Moustakas and breathe deep. The hope is that all the players are so good soon that they can’t make a bad decision. Ahh, to dream.

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