Friday, January 8, 2010

Scott Podsednik, Welcome to the Gutter--er, the Kansas City Royals

You may have noticed that it has been almost a month since my last post here. Suffice it to say, this author is one pretty unhappy Royals fan. My last post (regarding the Jason Kendall signing) felt to me that it was coming from somewhere near my wit's end.

Well, such a hope was short-sighted. Today, the assumption that many of us made last night was realized as a Scott Podsednik signing is about to be finalized. One year? Two years? Who gives a fuck?

The equation describing how Dayton Moore is going to fill each perceived roster hole is as follows: Determine where you are weakest, find the player with highest intangibles who lacks any upside/utility whatsoever, give that man a contract at least a year too long and a couple million dollars too much, and watch your fanbase grow increasingly exacerbated.

This is yet another day in the past year that I wonder why I am a Royals fan.

Matt Klaassen (devil_fingers for you Royals Review and Minor League Ball frequenters) has written this reaction to the signing at FanGraphs. In short, he asserts is absolutely no reason that the Royals should be signing Scott Podsednik to play left field, as the money spent for a player worth a 0.5 WAR (generously) is kind of pointless when you are one of the worst teams in the American League. Of course, there is the fact that Podsednik is apparently going to plug the hole in center--filling that all-important role of speedy centerfielder--despite the fact that Scotty Po hasn't played centerfield since 2004. Oh, and he's not good enough in left to be considered anything other than average, so a shift to center will surely work...

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Dayton Moore needs to be fired at this point. He is woefully inept in the role of General Manager. Any hope for his ability to learn on the job is futile. The longer the Royals continue on with Moore at the helm the harder it is going to be to climb from this canyon that he is digging the Royals into. There is nothing that he does discernibly above average in comparison to his GM-counterparts. Any hits that he gets in the draft past the first round are the result of paying grotesquely over slot for players like Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery, and Tim Melville, who had signability concerns for too many other teams. His first round draft picks have yet to prove themselves on any remotely encouraging front. His trades have been by-and-large unmitigated disasters. His free agent signings draw the ridicule of the masses. If given the budget that Omar Minaya gets to work with, is there any doubt that Moore would put together an even more catastrophic roster than last year's Mets?

In the great scheme of things, a Scott Podsednik signing is not going to spark a nuclear holocaust and wipe out all of mankind. Hell, it doesn't even cripple this team--well, unless Moore gave him Matt Holliday money, but without unlimited payroll flexibility at his disposal we can probably assume that he didn't coax Glass into giving Podsednik more money...

Moreover, we are all kind of assuming that this is a one-year deal, but did we really think that Kendall was going to get 2 and $6 million? It is a self-evident truth that Moore does not think rationally when doling out contracts to free agents. After all, we'll get to watch The Other Brian Anderson all year with his guaranteed contract, and he cannot have had another Major League contract offer. Is Podsednik better than Anderson? Offensively, probably, but this is the fucking discussion we are now reduced to as Royals fans.

Moore's inability to separate himself from performances five years in the past, combing the 2005 campaign for reclamation projects in their 30s today, is going to perpetuate the Royals futility.

Luckily we get to stand helplessly by as this happens.


Anonymous said...

Well at least there will be grit gritting all over the gritty, grit, pants dirty, fast running, one hundred percent heart, and grit emitting from theses guys.
Is giving Podsednik consistent at bats any better than Anderson/Maier? Will Moore ever be fired? Are the Royals a real franchise?

Anonymous said...

I'm in a wait and see mode on Moore's moves this offseason. The negative outlook is easy to take, but there may be a positive way to look at some of these. Take the Pods signing for instance. If it means he is the starting CF and leadoff hitter and that DeJesus stays on the team and bats lower in the lineup, then it is bad. Pods can't play a decent DF and DeJesus has been an unmitigated disaster batting outside of the leadoff spot. However, if it means that DeJesus gets traded for a piece (or pieces) that fit into the 2011 contention plan, then this is actuall a very good move. Pods can play an average to above average LF, is a better fit in the leadoff spot than DeJesus and saves us 2.5M+ this year in salary over DeJesus. This would leave us with a platoon of Maier/Anderson in CF which should be above average offensively and defensively for the position. That is the outcome that I am hopin for. Same story with the Getz trade. If it simply pushes Callaspo out of a starting job and reduces his at-bats then it is a disaster. However, if it means that Moore trades Callaspo for a piece (or pieces) that fit into the 2011 contention plan (as Getz will hopefully do) then it is a positive move. This one doesn't have the potential short-term cost savings of the Pods/DeJesus move, but it could still be a long-term positive (plus I'm not at all sold on Callaspo maintaing the power output he had last year, which would leave us with a slap-hitting, slow, poor-defense player with little trade value). So, I think we have to acknowledge, until proven otherwise, that Moore may have a grander plan that we aren't seeing yet and give him some benefit of the doubt. He's on his own with the Kendall signing though, even with my rose colored glasses on I can't figure out how to make that one look good.....

Old Man Duggan said...

@ Anonymous #2

I tried to take your approach last season, as I too thought that other moves had to be on the horizon that would somehow place his trades and signings in a new, rational light. Those complimentary moves never happened, and given the acquisitions of these past two offseasons, I think all hope for any developments to make sense of the managerial exploits Dayton Moore is futile. I have lost hope.