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Rival Roundup, Vol. 14: Rebuilding the past

Dayton Moore is heading back to the future.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

So much happened this week, you’re not going to believe it. In fact, after you read this, you still may not believe it.

Chicago White Sox

  • Straight from the top of the journalistic mountain comes this prophecy from MLB insider Héctor Gómez:
  • Now, this could be suspenseful foreshadowing of a major free agent signing an agreement to appear in the black-and-white pinstripes. Conversely, this could be an exceedingly mundane update on the status of the HVAC system at Guaranteed Rate Field.
  • It was one of the quietest weeks of the offseason for the division’s busiest team of the winter; the market may be shifting from a free-agency focus to a savvier trade expo, as teams look to get the biggest bang for their capital. After some of the rumors clear through, we may see a return to the spending as teams begin filling out their rosters with what remains of the free agency pool.

Cleveland Cleveland Land Cleve

  • Cleveland cleve land landcleve Cleveland cleve Land land.

Detroit Tigers

  • Erasmo Ramirez will be brought into spring training on a minor-league contract. He pitched about 14 innings for the Mets last year and only let in a run; that said, he hasn’t pitched much at all since 2017, when he was still starting games and bouncing between the Rays and Mariners organizations.
  • The Cool Cats also grab themselves a hot piece of Derek Holland. Here’s some of the D-Hol’s stats from 2020 — 40.2 innings, 15 walks, 45 strikeouts. Like the sounds of that? Yeah? Well, how’s about we throw in a little 2.7 HR/9, 6.86 ERA, and -1.1 bWAR? That’s right. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Some books are terrible.

Kansas City Royals

  • This is pretty cool, minor-league signing or otherwise.
  • Twins fans will remember well the three-headed monster in the Kansas City bullpen of the mid-10’s; Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland were a seminal part of the Royals’ back-to-back pennant-winning teams, all but ensuring that the game was over if K.C. entered the seventh with a lead.
  • After a successful reunion with Greg Holland last year, the club is trying to recapture the magic again with Davis. It’s been a brutal turn of events for Davis, who went from closer on the defending champion ‘17 Cubs, to leading the league with 43 saves for the ‘18 Rockies, to...a 9.77 ERA in his last 47 innings, including giving up 10 earned runs in 4.1 innings last season.
  • Control has become something of an issue for Davis, whose BB/9 ballooned to upwards of 6.0 these last two years.
  • Tampa Bay had already converted him to a reliever (with great results), but Kansas City handed him 24 starts in 2013. After that, he made a full-time conversion, and the rest is history. Davis never gave up double-digit runs in ANY of his three seasons out of the Royal bullpen, topping things off with an 0.94 ERA in 2015, while stepping in as closer for the injured Holland.
  • Kelvin Herrera is a free would be something else to see the three of them together again. Herrera was pretty bad himself these last two years with the White Sox; but perhaps the Royals have something special up their sleeve?
  • The “something special” is herein meant to mean “a good analytics department + coaching staff” and not “illegal substances.” Just so we’re all clear. I do not think that Dayton Moore’s gameplan is to reassemble an aging All-Star bullpen and roid them up.

Or is it?