Saturday, August 14, 2010
As the Royals' dreadful season nears the finish line, one player has stood out all year as a bright spot for the team. Closer Joakim Soria converted his 25th straight save, breaking the old consecutive saves record for the Royals previously set by Jeff Montgomery in 1993. For the season, Soria has converted 32 of 34 chances.
After pitching a no-decision gem last week, Zach Grienke made it clear he was not willing to sit around and wait for the Royals to undertake another rebuilding project. While it is hard to blame Grienke's stance, it will be interesting to see what the off-season brings for Soria. The Royals have traded many of its productive veterans to build for the future, however Soria is still young and could provide a long-term answer at closer or eventually be moved to a starting position.
Given that Soria has not publicly demanded a trade or let his frustrations with the organization known, the Royals should attempt to lock him up for the long haul. Having a dominant closer is a necessity for any competitor, and Soria is one of the best in the game. While the Royals keep rebuilding, at least Kansas City fans can enjoy watching Soria dominate.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The Royals traded veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor league players. The trade is right on the heals of another Royals deal that sent Alberto Callaspo to Anaheim for a young major league pitcher and another prospect. The moves send a clear message from the organization to its fans: the Royals are in another rebuilding project, and they are just getting started.
Both Callaspo and Podsednik have been very productive for the Royals, and have been some of the few bright spots in an otherwise underachieving offense. Podsednik is getting up there in age, yet has hit over .300 consistently this season, and Callaspo has been good both offensively and defensively during his career in Kansas City.
It is common sense for struggling teams to trade its better veteran players to plan for the future. The problem is, the Royals have been repeating this plan of action since I was born. Alex Gordon, who has been an absolute bust since being taken early in the draft, is slated to be Podsednik's full time replacement. The Royals did acquire some young talent, but what are the odds they will ever produce like Podsednik and Callaspo have in Kansas City? Given the Royals history, the odds are stacked against this happening.
I can't argue with the Royals' plan of action, in principle it makes sense. However, given the way Podsednik, Callaspo and the rest of the offense has produced, I would have liked to have seen Kansas City keep its offense together and get some pitching help. The deals are done though, and we will now enter Royals rebuilding project take 22.
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