This has been a widely talked about topic between Royals fans. Should the Royals move Joakim Soria to the rotation or keep him in the bullpen? Or, maybe even trade him. I think they should move him into the rotation for many reasons. He could be more effective in the rotation because he can throw 210 innings instead of 70. Thats three times as much. He throws a low 90’s fastball, and after stretching his arm out, he’ll probably fall down to the high 80’s range. But, he has four pitches. Since he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, he won’t be an ace, but at least a solid #3 with #2 potential. I’d take 210 innings of 4:00 ERA ball rather than 70 innings of 2:30 ERA ball. Another reason is that Dayton Moore has shown that he can find bullpen help. They had a good bullpen this year because of all of Moore’s finds. Joakim Soria was even found through the rule 5 draft. If Dayton finds one or two good cheap relievers, then the bullpen won’t lose that much. Some people think that Joakim might do what Jonathan Paplebon did. Fail at the rotation and move back to the bullpen. But, he could do what Ryan Dempster did. Get even better in the rotation. If he got even better he would be a Cy Young contender. I think there’s no risk involved. If they truly don’t think Soria could become a good starter, they could trade him. Maybe to the Angels for Jered Weaver. The Angels get a lights-out closer to replace Francisco Rodriguez, and open up a rotation spot to go after Jon Garland or CC Sabathia. The Royals get their number three starter. I’d rather keep Soria, though. Think of how good a rotation of Zack Greinke, Gil Meche, Joakim Soria, Kyle Davies, and Brian Banister/Luke Hochevar would be. That rotation could contend. Also, they fix the rotation without spending any money, so then they could go out and sign a shortstop or a power bat to solidify the lineup. Lastly, they need to extend Greinke. If they want to contend, they’ll need him under contract. This team could be a sleeper if they make the right moves.
We all know that Scott Boras will ask for the moon for Oliver Perez because of his upside and age. Lets look at some teams that might pay-up.
Mets (frontrunner) The Mets will definatley want him back. They love his potential and he still puts up solid numbers even though he isn’t as great as he could be. Plus, they probably want young pitchers that aren’t injury prone since they have had so many injuries this year. This one makes a lot of sense if the Mets don’t sign a better pitcher.
Dodgers (frontrunner) They will be looking for pitching this offseason, and if they miss out on other targets then I could see them overpaying for whatever Oliver Perez wants. This might be the place he ends up.
Rangers (frontrunner) Perez lives in Mexico, and Texas is very close. The Rangers have a lot of money available and probably will look to sign Perez because he is young and will be getting into his prime right when the rest of the Rangers’ players are. This could be a very good fit if they don’t spend their money on Milton Bradley instead.
Astros (frontrunner) Again, Perez lives in Mexico and Houston is close by. They also will be interested because they will be going after nearly every pitcher. They work well with Scott Boras, so there will be no trouble there, and it’s likely Draton McLane goes all in for 2009, adding a staring pitcher.
Cardinals (possible) They Like the Astros, the Cardinals will probably be going after every free agent starter available. Perez is probably a little bit out of their price range, but they do have a lot of money to spend. Even though the fans will hate it, the Cards will probably just sign another one of those bargain-basement type pitchers.
Royals (dark horse) You could see the Royals go after him because he is a lot like Gil Meche was, and that signing has worked out great so far. They get a young, high upside pitcher. The Royals might decide to spend their money on something else, such as an outfielder or a shortstop, but if they miss out on those targets they could go all in for Perez.
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The Kansas City Royals need to rebuild. They are trying to win by next year. After next year two of their key players, Zack Grienke and Jose Guillen, are free agents. The following year, David DeJesus, Gil Meche, and others reach free agency. I don’t think they should be very active in free agency. Some have said they are going to be looking for a shortstop, but they have Matt Aviles. If they want to move him to second base, they have Alberto Callapso for shortstop. They do need a first baseman, and could use a starter and a reliever. I think they should be selling off pieces. Ron Mahay should defiantley be traded. He could fetch a good pitching propsect for him. Maybe trade him to the Phillies for Kyle Kendrick or AJ Happ and Jason Donald. DeJesus, Guillen, Grienke, and Meche could be moved if they right deal comes along. They need to build aroung the time when they will have Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakes, and Matt Aviles or Alberto Callapso. Their offense will be raking about that time. Try to extened Zack Grienke, he’s the one player they shouldn’t trade unless they have to. So the Royals could spend in free agency and try to compete by next year, or they could start over again and wait to build aroung guys like Gordon, Butler, Hosmer, and Moustakes. They have to chose.