Monday, May 17, 2004

Nothing like a weekend with the Oakland A's to remind you of the chasm between a good low-revenue team and a not-so-good one. The Royals didn't play terribly this weekend - no monumental collapses, no worthless starting pitching performances, no late-inning bullpen failures. They were simply and soundly beaten three straight by a better team. No shame in that, and the Royals have had no success against the A's in recent years.

I get the feeling that the pressure is lifting from the Royals, because the players and management are rapidly realizing that at 11-24, this has become a (marketing term) rebuilding year. I fully expect the Royals to play much better for the rest of the season, and quite probably have a winning record from this point forward in the campaign. But they'll still finish with a losing record.

Anyone else out there get the bad feeling that Allard Baird isn't going to get that much for Carlos Beltran? I knows its tough for team like the Royals, because they have so little leverage. The problem is that the Royals will insist that whichever trades for Beltran pay his salary for the rest of the season, saving the Royals upwards of $4-$5 million this year. The recent history of trades suggests that you just don't get very good players in return unless the team trading the player pays part of the salary. The Royals should definitely pay as much salary as possible, because it will bring upstart low-revenue teams in the hunt into the trading fold.

Peter Gammons cited a "wow" study showing that of the $191 million spent on first-round high school draft picks from 1993-2001, $124 million never made it to the major leagues.


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