Bullpen Bargains (Episode 124)

The baseball free agency market is finally shaking loose. Manny Machado is getting his big payday. Mike Moustakas landed another one-year deal. Alcides Escobar will be an Oriole.

The Royals snagged some free agents as well, all to bolster the 2019 pitching staff.

After an AL-worst bullpen in 2018, how will the additions of Brad Boxberger, Jake Diekman, and Drew Storen shake out? Is there anything left in the tank for Homer Bailey? How strange will future offseasons become?

We discuss it all this week on the Vault.

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com. And remember to rate us and subscribe on iTunes.

Whit’s Payday (Episode 123)

So far this offseason has been very quiet, but one of the milestones each winter is the publication of prospect rankings. Two of the big ones – Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America – recognized some Royals prospects, though, interestingly different groups.

In the here and now, we also discussed the new contract for Whit Merrifield, including what it means for the roster, the minor league rising stars, and the Royals contention window. Mostly, it’s a nice payday for Whit and allows him to avoid the arbitration process. The Royals, in return, get to bank on a young player but have some cost certainty in place. 

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com. And remember to rate us and subscribe on iTunes.

Timelines (Episode 122)

It’s been quiet this offseason with a lot of attention in Kansas City going to the Royals’ next-door neighbors, but we took time this week to talk about an old friend who’ll be back in 2019.

And since everyone is looking to the past these days, we looked at the up and down journey of Kyle Zimmer, who’s back with the Royals after signing a one-year MLB deal. 

Speaking of big names who had injury problems…15 years ago this month the Royals signed slugger Juan Gonzalez in hopes of keeping the belief alive and taking the AL Central. It didn’t go well, but the look back can be fun!

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com. And remember to rate us and subscribe on iTunes.

Picking the Royals Hall of Fame (Episode 121)

After a couple weeks off for the holidays, the Vault is back.

And during that break, the Royals signed Terrance Gore. We discuss the Royals focus on adding team speed and his likely role within the organization. While we’re hesitant to say that he will play much of a role, he’s definitely got speed, as we’ve seen ourselves over the years.

The Royals also acquired two players during the Rule 5 draft, selecting Sam McWilliams out of Tampa Bay’s organization and trading for Chris Ellis (drafted by Texas in the Rule 5 draft out of the St. Louis Cardinals organization). Both hope to follow in the footsteps of last year’s breakout Rule 5 pick Brad Keller, and the Royals have innings to spare.

We also took a look at the list of Royals Hall of Fame candidates who are on the ballot. There are some significant names this year, including Bo Jackson and Johnny Damon, but we also discussed the legacy of David DeJesus and the what if of Yordano Ventura as candidates. 

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com.

Young, Scrappy, and Hungry (BP Kansas City Episode 120)

Is the Royals outfield wide enough? Are the Royals throwing away their shot? Kansas City sure didn’t wait for it and went out and signed center fielder Billy Hamilton. It might be nice to have Hamilton on our side. 

On top of that move, the Royals signed utility man Chris Owings, and carved out some space on the 40 man roster to make room for likely Rule 5 picks as they finish up a somewhat busy but curious Winter Meetings. 

Programming note: While what you’ve known as BP Kansas City is being absorbed into the larger Baseball Prospectus site, if you’re subscribed to our podcast through iTunes or another app, you should still continue to receive new episodes as they’re published just like you always have. 

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com.

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and BlogTalkRadio. You can also download this episode here (mp3).

Young, Scrappy, and Hungry (Episode 120)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kansascitybaseballvault/2018/12/13/the-show-where-it-happens-bp-kansas-city-episode-120.mp3 Is the Royals outfield wide enough? Are the Royals throwing away their shot? Kansas City sure didn’t wait for it and went out and signed center fielder Billy Hamilton. It might be nice to have Hamilton on our side. On top of that move, the Royals signed utility man Chris Owings, and carved out some space […]

The 40 Man Gauntlet (BP Kansas City Episode 119)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kansascitybaseballvault/2018/11/29/the-40-man-gauntlet-bp-kansas-city-episode-119.mp3 The Royals took aim at locking down their 40 man roster, purchasing the contracts of three pitchers, claiming one and designating another for assignment. As they massage the roster, they also have some arbitration offers to consider. What will be the fate of Cheslor Cuthbert, Jesse Hahn, and Brian Flynn? Is new claim Conner […]

The Pitching Hour (BP Kansas City Episode 118)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kansascitybaseballvault/2018/11/15/the-pitching-hour-bp-kansas-city-episode-118.mp3 The Royals made a couple more moves since our last episode, so we recapped the dearly departed, including some minor league free agents. But with new free agents come new signings, so we discussed the signing of post-hype prospect Michael Ynoa to a minor-league deal. It’s low-risk, high-reward, which is right in line with […]

An Early Look At The Offseason (BP Kansas City Episode 117)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kansascitybaseballvault/2018/11/02/an-early-look-at-the-offseason-bp-kansas-city-episode-117.mp3 The 2018 season is over, and we’re now starting to see some transactions and roster decisions being made. For the Royals, their 2019 team is not likely to change that much from the team that ended 2018, but there are definite opportunities to improve the team for next year and beyond. We discussed how […]

Holding Ourselves Accountable (BP Kansas City Episode 116)

Every season, amidst the fun and games of spring training, we set some over/under marks for particular players and judge where we think they’ll land. 

This year, our array of predictions were hit and miss, but the journey is half the fun, right? We reviewed the predictions from March, what went right, what went wrong, and what was close.

Along with the over/under judgments, we also reviewed some bold predictions from before the 2018 season. Did we miss entirely? Did we nail them? Similar to the Royals disappointing-turning-into-optimistic season, it was a little of both.

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com.