Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Royals Seeking Meche, Batista

With salaries skyrocketing and the Royals in dire need of starting pitching (Royals’ starters had a ridiculous 5.85 ERA last season), it’ll be interesting to see how much Moore has to fork over to get a second-tier starter or two. Just looking at what guys like Barry Zito are rumored to be getting ($102 million for six years) makes you shake your head.

With that said, the Star is reporting that the Royals are “among the finalists, though not necessarily the favorites” in signing Gil Meche and/or Miguel Batista. Moore is hoping to hear something this week from them. According to the same article, it’ll probably take between $8–10 million per season (for three to four years) to sign Meche and $20–25 million to sign Batista for three years.

Sounds like Mark Redman is still a possibility and the Royals are also talking about signing Ryan Franklin.

Meche is 55–44 in his career with 4.65 ERA and a 1.439 WHIP. I’d like to see a higher strikeout to walk ratio from him (1.58), but he’s not a strikeout pitcher. Is he worth $10 million? Probably not, but then again, the market determines worth, and if the market is willing to pay him that much, then that’s what we’ll have to pay if we hope to sign him. He is only 28, so that is a major plus.

Since Batista’s brief stint with the Royals in 2000, he’s established himself as decent major league starter (he had a brief stint in the pen with the Blue Jays in 2005), going 55–55. He has a 4.46 career ERA, a 1.455 WHIP, and a 1.47 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s also 35 years old and that makes me a bit leery of him, but he did throw 206 innings last year, so maybe he still has something left.

Unbelievably, Mark Redman was the Royals’ pitcher of the year last season, even though he had a 5.71 ERA. Redman made $4.5 million last season. Is he worth that much? I don’t know. After he developed a cutter late in the season, he seemed to be more effective. If we can’t get Meche and Batista (and I’m guessing we won’t get both, hopefully we can get at least one of them), then I’d probably resign Redman, but I certainly wouldn’t go higher than what he made last season, and I’d hope to go lower.

Franklin hasn’t won a lot of games in his career, but he’s played for some bad baseball teams. He’s 41–57 with a 4.35 ERA, a 1.345 WHIP, and a 1.73 strikeout to walk ratio. He was used exclusively as a reliever in Philadelphia and Cincinnati last year, but prior to that he was a starter in Seattle. His best year there was 2003, when he was 11–13 with a 3.57 ERA. He really hasn’t looked like the same pitcher since then. He made $2.6 million last season and I don’t think he’s worth that. He’s 33 and I just don’t see where he’d fit it on this staff.

Stay tuned for more news as the winter meetings continue.

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