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.

Comments (16)

  1. I’m not sure what teams and people’s obsessions with #4 / #5 SP types?

    If I’m the Royals, I’d rather take a chance with Danny Duffy or another prospect for those starts (and spend the money somewhere else)

  2. “Guthrie is a much better pitcher than he showed in 2012 ā€“ but not by much.” This is a confusing sentence.

    I always enjoyed watching Guthrie with the O’s. He should do well with the Royals.

  3. Brett Cecil, Adam Lind and a high ceiling pitching prospect for Billy Butler and Mike Montgomery?

  4. This is the second of the three SP’s KC set out for this offseason. Guthrie’s deal is backloaded, which I like and he is an innings eater. Ervin Santana’s velocity drop concerns me a bit, but I think he’ll have a decent year pitching at Kauffman Stadium.

    Years of losing has made the Royals minor league system very good. I think it’s time to trade Eric Hosmer (who I think is going to be very good) and a top prospect (maybe two) for one of either Jeremy Hellickson, James Shields or (please…please…please) Matt Moore (at this point, as a Royals fan, I’d even take Alex Cobb). TB needs a 1st basemen and have a glut of starting pitching. KC has a killer bullpen (imagine if they actually had leads to protect!), a lot of solid prospects and desperately need a solid 1-2 starter. Seems like a good match. But since it’s Kansas City and it makes sense, it likely won’t happen. *le sigh*

  5. If they love #4 starters so much, maybe the Jays could interest them in an overpaid Mark Buehrle? I’d take Butler plus loads of cash saved for Buehrle anyday…

  6. Remember when Jeremy Guthrie was always being linked to the Jays? Seems like so long ago, in a different era…

  7. I’m a little surprised that you think that trading Billy Butler wouldn’t get much more than a #4 or #5 type pitcher…. Great OBP. Solid OPS. He is a doubles machine. He even found a power stroke last season. Plus, three more years of team control at a not-unreasonable contract. Zero defensive ability, but still…

    • agreed. I’d figure he would be worth quite a bit. If I were AA I’d certainly be willing to give Buehrle, plus Lind, plus $15M cash and more to get him. If that kind of package is anywhere close to enough, I hope AA would be all over it.

    • Zero defensive ability is not nothing.

      • No, it is not nothing. But his hitting is so good that I think you are under-valuing him quite a bit.

        How many other DH’s in the league would you rather have than Butler for the next 2 years? Encarnacion is playing 1B so we won’t count him. There’s Ortiz and ………. (I’m drawing a blank).

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