Given what we’ve written about the Royals over the last year, it’s not surprising to find them hanging out near the bottom of these rankings. If there’s any surprise at all, it may be that they aren’t dead last, since they make more moves that make us shake our heads than any other team in baseball. Put simply, the Royals are the anti-FanGraphs team. They just don’t think about baseball the same way we do.
We think Yuniesky Betancourt is basically worthless; they go out of their way to trade for him. We think that Scott Podsednik has no business playing center field; they give him the job with no questions asked and offer up the lead-off spot as well. We think they should be rebuilding; they sign Jason Kendall. The disconnect here is Grand Canyon-esque.
The management is bad enough to offset almost all of the good. Zack Greinke, Billy Butler, David DeJesus – there are pieces here that should be the core of a good young team. But they’ve been surrounded by chaff, and expensive chaff at that. There are some good young players on the way, but not enough. By the time those guys get to KC – if they get there before Moore trades them for something else without value – Greinke’s contract will be expiring, Butler will be expensive, and they’ll be faced with another necessary rebuilding process, because there isn’t enough talent in the organization to contend either now or in the future.
All jokes aside, there is a process in place in Kansas City, but the problem is that it just doesn’t work anymore. It may have worked in the 1980s before Bill James and Pete Palmer started challenging people to think differently, but it doesn’t work anymore. The Royals are behind the curve, and they’ve got a lot of catching up to do before they can contend again. Moore may believe in his process, but he shouldn’t. The Royals are bad now, they’re going to be bad next year, and they’ll be bad until someone injects some new thought into that front office.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.