Guthrie on three-year, $25M deal with #Royals: “I’m excited for this team. It was a big factor in wanting to return.”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 20, 2012
There are a lot of things one could say about the Kansas City Royals. Boring is certainly one of them, but I prefer to think of their front office decisions as reliable. The Royals reliably stock up on number four/five starters, hoping for mass inning consumption as their offense batters the opposition into submission.
This hasn’t really work out for KC, as four straight 90 loss seasons attests. Which doesn’t mean the Royals are going to change a damn thing, however. Fresh off acquiring Ervin Santana from the Angels, Kansas City opted to re-sign starter Jeremy Guthrie for three years and $25 million dollars.
There are many disparaging things to say about Jeremy Guthrie, none of them true. Guthrie is a better pitcher than he showed in 2012 – but not by much. His years toiling for terrible Orioles teams taints his reputation, as he was a capable back of the rotation arm for years.
Moving away from Colorado helped Guthrie last year as he was better with the Royals – Jeremy Guthrie better. He still isn’t more than a fourth option for most teams, which makes him the Royals number one starter according to MLB Depth Charts.
The Royals are rumoured to be in the hunt for another rotation arm, dangling Billy Butler if some reports are to be believed. Unless more talent is attached to that rumor, I can’t see Billy Butler returning more than…a Jeremy Guthrie type.
$25 million dollars seems like a lot of money for a glorified fifth starter because, well, it is. If Guthrie gives the Royals 200 innings a year for three years, no matter the quality, this deal isn’t bad at all. If you think Jeremy Guthrie is a 2 Win pitcher, it’s a fine deal.
If you think he’s a 1 Win pitcher, it still isn’t a bad deal at all. Durability and being a known commodity matters. Little comfort for Royals fans hoping the team set their sights a little higher. The money given to Guthrie doesn’t preclude the Royals from going after bigger fish, it just stinks of more of the same from a team on the 90 loss treadmill.