Winter Meetings Souvenir

Nothing’s more exciting than making a big splash in the free agent pool on the last day of baseball’s Winter Meetings. That’s what happened with the Royals today as we landed an ace starter with the signing of free-agent right-hander Gil Meche.

The early-morning deal is being labeled the “stunner” of the week-long Winter Meetings, especially since we reportedly found ourselves battling two other teams – the Chicago Cubs and the Toronto Blue Jays – for Meche.

The five-year deal to the 28-year-old Meche caps an active week for us down in Florida. Earlier in the Meetings, we dealt reliever Ambiorix Burgos to the New York Mets for right-handed starter Brian Bannister and, during Thursday’s Rule 5 draft, we released Runelvys Hernandez before selecting right-hander Joakim Soria.

Any thoughts on the Royals’ aggressiveness at this year’s Winter Meetings?

11 Comments

Loving it!
We just bought ourself a solid 1 or 2 starter, plus a new reputation and more publicity. This was a huge move and its great to see Glass and Moore really attacking the market. Looking forward to April!

Thank you Glass, and especially Moore! Being from the Northwest, I have always thought Meche was a good pitcher, and I look forward to rooting for him. I am glad to see the moves happen and not being afraid to deal! Way to go Moore! Thanks again!

I think what Dayton and his team did in Florida is exactly what we needed. I feel that every move he made was perfect, but what else would you expect from Mr. Moore?

While I think the Royals overpaid for Gil Meche, I am still EXTREMELY thrilled with the signing. I’m sure the five years and the dollar amount was enough to lure Meche to the Royals. Along with getting Brian Bannister, and now signing Octavio Dotel, it’s nice to see the Royals taking chances and not waiting for young players to develop. Burgos had his chance in Kansas City, and while he might develop into a solid major league player, his time was up. Good work Kansas City front office and keep building the Royals into a contender.

I’ve been a Royals fan since I was 10, that was 18 years ago. I’ve never been on the jumbotron but my 5 month old son made it up there last season! Now that I’m done bragging, Meche looks more like a no. 2 starter for most teams, but no doubt is a huge improvement for our KC Royals. I’m more excited about the rule 5 guy. Look at this kids talent. I think he’ll be the suprise of the bullpen next year. I’m glad to see Moore shaking up this team and city! With our young talent bearing fruit, I’ll say Royals in 08!

I’ll say there’s not a whole lot out there this offseason and everyone got overpaid. But the Meche signing will give other free agents a reason to look again with KC. I like the Dotel signing; he might be an injury risk, but he’d be good for the closer role.

Way way way overpaid for Meche both in avg. salary and years. But perhaps its as much a p.r. move (hey look fans … we ARE spending money …. and not just on Graffanino and Minky) as a move to bolster the pitching.

Nice to see that you asked Runelvys to leave the building.

Now, what will you be doing to bolster the team defense, which has ranked in the bottom 3 of DER in each of the last 3 years?

All the right moves, in all the right places. When do World Series tickets go on sale? I “must be in the front row.”

Diane, what are you talking about? The Royals defense ranked 10th last year in the entire Major Leagues.

Clearly, Mr. Moore is showing some earnestness for next season. He indicated by the end of last season that pitching was Priority 1 and proved he was good to his word. Four signings: 2 starters and 2 relievers have to improve an area that couldn’t have been worse in 2006. A few more wins should be scattered here and there to at least help the team get fewer than 100 losses in 07.

JR …. the Royals did finish 10th in FIELDING PERCENTAGE last year, but that is only a reflection of the balls they GOT TO, NOT the balls in play.

For defensive ranking on balls in play, you want to use DER …

From the mlb.com stats glossary:

Defensive Efficiency Rating is the ratio of team defensive outs recorded in defensive opportunities. To determine Defensive Efficiency Rating for a team, divide the total number of hits in play allowed (not including home runs) by the total number of defensive opportunities (all balls hit into play, not including home runs) and subtract from one: 1-((H-HR)/(PA-HR-BB-HBP-SO)).

By THAT metric, which better quantifies the RANGE of the fielders, the Royals finished 4th to last.

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