After a hectic summer and fall I am again posting my thoughts on baseball and other sports here on Rounding Third and Heading Home.
The following appeared in this mornings online edition of the Miami Herald:
The Marlins have decided to raise their payroll to the $30-$35 million range and have been in serious talks to trade Mike Jacobs...The Marlins wanted to deal Jacobs to Kansas City, but the deal died last week
If trading for a player like Mike Jacobs is general manager Dayton Moore's idea of improving the team, the Kansas City Royals will never be a contending team in the American League Central Division.
Mike Jacobs is a free swinging first baseman with some pop in his bat. In 2008 he hit 32 homeruns and drove in 93 for the Marlins. But he also posted a .248 batting average, struck out 119 times, and showed poor plate discipline by posting a .299 OBP. Jacobs will also command a huge pay raise this off season as he is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time. The Royals also have options to man first base in 2009. Kila Ka'aihue had a monster year for AAA Omaha and Ryan Shealy is fully recovered from his injuries and performed well for Kansas City in September. It is likely that either Ka'aihue or Shealy would be able to produce nearly as well as Jacobs for close to the Major League minimum salary.
I don't see any realistic options for the Royals to become a legitimate contender in 2009. In 2008 the White Sox and Twins fought to the end for the division title and the Indians played at a .543 clip in the final 81 games of the season. There is no reason to believe that any of these teams will have a drop off in 2009. Heading into this off season my fear for the Royals is they will add players that might help them to a respectable record in 2009 but not move the team closer to contending for the post-season. Dayton Moore needs to understand that 2009 is not the year for the Royals to compete for the post-season and begin to lay the groundwork for the club to contend in 2010 or 2011. Acquiring a mediocre player like Mike Jacobs is not going to move the club toward contention.