Inbox: How will new owners impact Royals? 

Beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan fields questions from KC fans

September 2nd, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals’ season ends in less than four weeks, yet there’s certainly plenty to discuss these days.

Thank you all for so many great questions -- and sorry I can’t get to all of them. We’ll certainly do another Royals Inbox or two before the season ends.

Answer: This seems to be one of the top questions on every Royals fan’s mind right now. It’s natural to think that pending new owner John Sherman and his group of investors might want to come in and make a massive splash by signing a big-time free agent. Having spoken to several people around the situation this week, I just don’t see them going after a Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon or any other big-time free agent as some kind of public relations move to woo the fanbase. Even with the additional revenue expected from a new TV deal (probably an extra $25 million or so), it simply doesn’t make much economic sense, considering the Royals are looking at least at 2021 before they can be competitive again (maybe they make that splash after '20). Sherman, from what I’ve been told, is well aware of the timeline for the next wave of prospects who could make a potential impact in the Majors. That extra TV revenue could be better spent on a potential extension for Jorge Soler or a long-term deal for Adalberto Mondesi.

Answer: Those who cover the Indians describe him as someone who has spent the last three seasons listening and learning how MLB teams operate -- so it doesn’t seem like there was a ton of influence. But the good thing is, he’ll have a pretty good base of knowledge about how to operate a big league team now. And hey, it doesn’t hurt to have an owner with some pretty good intel on how the Indians operate.

Answer: To piggyback on the first question answered here, I am guessing the Royals will look for some bargains in the pitching market like they did last year -- when they got Jake Diekman and Homer Bailey, whom they were able to flip for prospects. Danny Duffy and Mike Montgomery will provide enough veteran leadership on the staff.

Answer: OK, so this is the $1 billion question. Let’s start with Dayton Moore. Every single person I’ve talked to about Sherman this week has indicated he is not the type of guy who will storm in and start gutting the front office. Moore and his front-office group of J.J. Picollo, Scott Sharp, Jin Wong, Kevin Uhlich, Mike Swanson, etc., are about as well respected in MLB circles as anyone. Other teams like the Braves and the Giants had great interest in Moore the last two years, but he chose to stay committed to Kansas City and the Royals. Sherman almost surely knows that. And Sherman, as a hard-core Royals fan, remembers well the World Series appearances and the parade after a 30-year drought -- and he is aware of the Royals’ massive wave of pitching prospects. My guess -- and none of us has talked to Sherman yet -- is he will come here and learn the organization from the inside, listen intently and then offer support however he can.

Answer: I don’t see Sherman’s arrival affecting Yost’s decision. I think Yost is going through the same thought process he did last year at this time: Is the direction of this team and its young players secure enough to hand off to the next manager? Yost came back again this season because he knows he has enough equity from the World Series runs to absorb the backlash a manager will get when a rebuilding team loses 100-plus games. And I think he genuinely loves seeing the growth of the young players, as he did with Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Yordano Ventura, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas. I think he loves seeing that same development in Mondesi, Soler, Hunter Dozier and so on. I could see a scenario in which Yost goes one more year in this rebuild and then hands over the reins when the team stands on the doorstep of being competitive again. But I also think it’s a 50-50 shot just because, to a manager, rebuilding years seem like dog years -- much, much longer.

Answer: Certainly when the manager’s job comes open, Mike Matheny will get consideration -- along with Pedro Grifol and Dale Sveum, plus other external candidates. Matheny hasn’t indicated to anyone within the organization he is even interested in managing again. I assume he would be, but you never know.

Answer: The Royals believe it is generally easier and more beneficial for prospects to come up after April, just because there’s less pressure and less spotlight on them.

Answer: Gordon told me in May that he had told his wife, Jamie, he was 60-40 on coming back. I’ve known him a long time and, to me, that translated into 100 percent coming back. I’m less certain now. But I still think he would be a valuable veteran presence on the field and in the clubhouse next season.