Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Royals Sign Gobble, Buck, and Peralta

The Royals are busy singing players who are arbitration eligible:

Jimmy Gobble

The Royals signed him to a one-year deal with $1.35 million (compared to his 2008 contract in which he made $1,312,500). I like Jimmy Gobble. He hasn’t complained about the various roles he’s been given and I see him as a total team player. But he had an awful season in 2008 (0-2, 8.81 ERA, 1.958 WHIP). Remember the game against Detroit on July 21 when he gave up 10 earned runs in one inning? Wow. He did finish the 2008 season strong by not allowing any runs over his final eight appearances. But I’m not sure that he deserves a raise for that and I can’t imagine he would have won his arbitration case. He’s really only had one good season (2007, when he went 4-1 with a 3.02 ERA) and I can’t see that changing unless Hillman begins to use him more as a situational lefty. Right handed hitters eat him for lunch. In 2008, they hit .382 against him. In 2007, even in his good season, they hit .319 against him. In my opinion, he’s worth $1.35 million only if he’s used solely as a situational lefty.

John Buck

The Royals signed Buck to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed. According to Yahoo!, the contract is worth $2.9 million (he made $2.2 million last season). Is he worth it? From an offensive standpoint, probably not. He hit nine less home runs in 2008 than he did in 2007 and he had more at bats in 2008 than he did in 2007. With Miguel Olivo on the roster in 2009, Buck will surely split catching duties again, much like in did in 2008. Olivo hits righties better than Buck does (Buck hit just .219 last season against them while Olivo hit .251 against them). It seems that Dayton Moore and company like Buck because of the way he handles and understands the pitching staff. Some would argue that the numbers the Royals’ pitching staff puts up hardly warrants keeping Buck around, but I think the poor numbers have had more to do with poor personnel than anything. So, does his understanding of the pitching staff make him worth $3 million? Tough call, but probably.

Joel Peralta

The Royals signed Peralta to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed. According to Yahoo!, the contract is worth $640,000. Peralta had the worst year of his career in 2008 (1-2, 5.98 ERA). He didn’t even have one good month in 2008 (his best month was May, during which he had a 5.06 ERA). He did have a decent 2007 season (1-3, 3.80 ERA), so we know he’s capable. He’s experienced, knows and accepts his role, and has a career 4.45 ERA. Nothing to get too excited about, but he certainly seems worth $640,000.

Remaining Arbitration Eligible Players

Four players remain on the arbitration eligible list: Brian Bannister, Zack Greinke, Mark Teahen, and Mike Jacobs. According to Yahoo!, here’s where the Royals and players stand:

Right-hander Zack Greinke asked for $4.4 million and was offered $3.4 million; fellow right-hander Brian Bannister proposed $2,025,000 and was offered $1.45 million; outfielder Mark Teahen requested $3.85 million and was offered $2.75 million; and first baseman Mike Jacobs asked for $3.8 million and was offered $2.75 million.

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