Royals news: What happened while I was away

I’m baaack!

My vacation to Maui was great. The weather was a lot cloudier than I had hoped (no sun tan for me) and the flight home was brutal (on the plane and in an airport for 18+hours and was up for 38 hours because the flight out of Maui was not until 11:30 at night).

Now I am back in cold New Jersey.

Royals bagIt is time to update all of you on what happened in the KC Royals world while I was gone.

  • Instead of retiring, veteran right-handed reliever Jason Frasor and the Royals agreed to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2016.

Frasor became a pivotal part of the Royals postseason run and who can forget his son running around during the end-of-season rally for the players/fans.

Frasor, who was acquired from Texas in the middle of July (for minor leaguer Spencer Patton), posted a 1.53 ERA in 23 games with four walks and 16 strikeouts. In seven postseason games, he earned victories in both the Wild Card Game versus Oakland and Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against Baltimore. He was 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

  • Instead of tendering him a contract, the Royals traded right-handed reliever Aaron Crow to Miami for lefty Brian Flynn and righty Reid Redman.

Flynn has spent the bulk of the last two seasons in the minors with the Marlins, though he did see action in the Majors (two games in 2014). He was named a Pacific Coast League postseason All-Star in 2013, as he held a 2.80 ERA in 138 innings to go along with a .246 opponents’ batting average. Flynn was originally drafted by Detroit out of Wichita State and traded to then Florida in 2011 for now Royal Omar Infante.

Redman was a Florida State League All-Star (High-A) with Jupiter (2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in his first 19 appearances). After a promotion to Double-A, he had a 1.38 ERA in nine games and opponents hit just .174 against him. Redman was originally drafted by the Tampa Rays in 2012 as an infielder, but converted to a reliever after signing with the Marlins.

The Marlins are expected to give Crow a chance to start (something he was never good at with the Royals, either in the big leagues or in the minors).

  • The Royals did not tender lefty Francisley Bueno a contract, making him a free agent. Bueno struck out 20 while walking seven in 32.1 innings in the Majors in 2014. He allowed 36 hits (three home runs) and 15 earned runs.
  • The Royals did however, tender contracts to lefty reliever Tim Collins and right-handed reliever Louis Coleman.
  • Royals reliever Luke Hochevar pitching during spring training 2013 (Jen Nevius).

    Royals reliever Luke Hochevar pitching during spring training 2013 (Jen Nevius).

    The Royals signed right-hander Luke Hochevar, who missed the entire 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery, to a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2017. He was expected to be a fairly hot commodity this offseason, considering how well he pitched out of the Royals bullpen in 2013.

However, Hochevar decided to stay put and the winning atmosphere he had a chance to witness this season was the big reason why he decided to stay.

Hochevar pitched much like Wade Davis did in 2014: 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA 70.1 innings. He held opponents to a .169 batting average, which was third in the AL.  His 82 strikeouts in 2013 tied for sixth among AL relievers and his 10.49 strikeouts per nine innings ranked eighth in Royals history.

  • The Royals were named Baseball America’s Organization of the Year. Not only did the Royals win the AL title and reach their first World Series since 1985 (and end their 29 year playoff drought), Triple-A Omaha won back-to-back Triple-A National Championships (though their other minor league levels were not great).

It was the second time the Royals received this honor from BA (previously in 1994).

They set a Major League record by winning their first eight postseason games. Of the 26 players used in the postseason, 13 were either drafted or signed via the international market by the Royals.

  • Don Wakamatsu, who was not named the Tampa Bay Rays new manager, will stay on as manager Ned Yost’s bench coach.
  • The Royals earned four GIBBYs (Greatness in Baseball Yearly awards) via MLB.com. They were the Postseason Top Storyline, to go along with having the Closer and Setup Man of the Year.

 

Oh and GM Dayton Moore was voted the Executive of the Year.

Greg Holland edged out Baltimore’s Zach Britton, Cincinnati’s Aroldis Champman, and Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for Closer of the Year:

 

Wade Davis edged out NY Yankees rookie Dellin Betances, Washington’s Tyler Clippard, and Pittsburgh’s Tony Watson for Setup Man of the Year:

 

With all of these moves, the Royals roster now stands at 39, with the Rule V Draft coming on Thursday and the offseason just getting ready to kick into high gear.

 

The winter meetings in San Diego are upon us, so there should be a lot of buzz going on over the next few days. I had a dream last night that the first big deal of the meetings was the Royals trading Holland. Then I woke up. Will it happen?

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About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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