The Royals are World Series champions. As weird as that sounds, it is, in fact, reality. Their gambles paid off in the best possible way. They didn’t re-sign James Shields, signed Kendrys Morales and traded for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist in July. Oh, and they were without their closer Greg Holland, who went down with a torn UCL in the season’s final month.
Now, the Dodgers (and everyone else) will (and won’t) make moves to get to where the Royals ended up this season.
Free agency has officially started, even if players can’t sign for five days (known as a quiet period). Those who have player options normally have five days to decide whether to exercise them. Zack Greinke has three days to decide, per his current contract. He is owed $71 million over the next three years. Even at age 32, he’s going to opt out. He could get — at minimum — five years at $25 million per season on the open market. There might not be a better fit for him than Los Angeles, so don’t freak out when he opts out by Wednesday.
J.P. Howell has a player option for $6.25 million. He’s coming off a season in which he posted a 1.43 ERA. That’s quite attractive to teams looking for left-handed relievers this offseason. His 3.34 FIP doesn’t jive well with that, and he also posted a ridiculous 91.8 percent strand rate. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t opt out and get a multi-year deal elsewhere.
The biggest free agents the Dodgers have outside of Greinke are Brett Anderson, Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins. It’s all but assured the Dodgers will give Anderson, Greinke and Kendrick a qualifying offer, meaning the Dodgers would collect a supplemental 1st-round pick if the player declines and signs elsewhere. If the player accepts, he gets a 1-year deal at the average of the top 125 contracts in baseball — or $15.8 million. Once offered, the players have to decide whether to accept by Nov. 13. Since this system was put in place, none of the 34 players have taken the offer. If the Dodgers want to go after a big free agent like Jason Heyward or Jordan Zimmermann, having (potentially) three supplemental picks would mitigate the loss of their 1st-round selection.
I’ve said this a few times already, but this offseason is going to be crazy. Aside from Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager, no one’s spot on the Dodgers’ roster for 2016 is guaranteed (meaning, everyone else is movable). It’ll be crazier than anything the Ned Colletti regime ever did and this front office will outdo itself from last year. There is a process in place and the only thing we can do as fans is trust the process. Let the guys who are being paid lots of money to build a competitive team do just that. Sure, we’ll praise (Dee Gordon) and criticize (Juan Uribe) the moves that are made, but there are people smarter than us making these moves. While there is no surefire way to build a winner, I’m confident this front office gives the Dodgers the best chance to be successful for the short- and long-term.
The Royals snapped a 30-year World Series drought. It’d be just swell if the Dodgers snapped a 28-year drought come next year.