Shocking news hit Royaldom Tuesday when Gil Meche decided to retire from baseball and turn down his final year of 12+ million from the Royals. While many (myself included) have talked about whether that is commendable, heroic or foolish the one thing that is perfectly clear to all of us, he didn't have to do it. Whatever your opinion of Meche's career and his situation he's giving the Royals even more flexibility than what they already had by not chewing up the money in the bullpen.
Dutton released an interesting tweet in regards to the money saved:
To all who have asked, no, the #Royals aren't likely to use the Meche payroll savings to pursue remaining free agents. But budgets for the draft and international scouting could get a boost.
The average fan would be disappointed by that news and tell you KC just got 12M tossed at them and they need to go spend the money via free agency. Perhaps that would be true if Meche had released this news at the start of the offseason and maybe KC could've got something worthwhile for that money. At this point currently though with less than 30 days until pitchers and catchers report the talent pool via free agency is extremely depleted and that would essentially be burning the money up for perhaps one or two wins. So let us look at Dutton's scenario
Since GMDM has taken over he's done an extremely solid job of spending appropriate money on the amateur draft while sprinkling in some solid international signings. The two budgets(amateur and major league) from the outside appear to be tied together as Dutton mentioned. One can see the highest draft budget under GMDM's watch coincided with the lowest major league budget in 2008. While that draft pool seemingly was the deepest from '07-10 it also goes to show how spending that money correctly could reshape an organization. Just in that '08 draft KC took Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery, Johnny Giavotella, John Lamb and Blaine Hardy all of which are close to knocking on the door to the major league roster within a year or so.
KC will enter this season with approximately 40 million committed to the major league team, the lowest since 2005 and by far the lowest of GMDM's tenure. What KC has an opportunity to do if they want is dominate the international draft and buyout lots of amateur draft picks. If Matt Purke drops to them at 5 and wants 10 million then KC can do it, if Bubba Starling is holding the Nebraska scholarship and 5 milion over their heads again no problem. Perhaps GMDM wants to spend 20M total for amateurs this season, Glass considering the budgets of the past has no real reason to say no. He'll still be saving money over what he has the past few seasons.
In my opinion continually loading up on the amateur ranks is the only way to go with this extra Meche money.
Photo: Arkansas Online www.nwaonline.com
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