Some Royals Notes
The Royals presumably stepped up their pursuit of Sanders almost immediately after Jacque Jones spurned their offer of three years and $15 million, instead opting to join the Cubs for an extra million bucks and a better chance to compete. Trust me: the Cubs did the Royals a massive favor by taking Jones off the market for that price. As I've discussed in a previous post, Jones is nothing more than a platoon player who became massively overrated once an already-thin free-agent market for outfielders became thinner after Brian Giles re-signed with the Padres.
Despite the fact that Sanders is eight years Jones' senior, I view paying him an average of $5 million over the next two seasons as much less of a risk than I do paying Jones $5 million for the next three. A walking testimonial to how an outstanding commitment to conditioning can prolong athletic careers, Sanders has managed to avoid having his production slip from age 33 to now, what is usually considered a baseball player's decline phase. Looking at it simply, Sanders has posted OPS figures of .886, .779, .912, .797, and .886 over the last five seasons. Additionally, he's hit right-handed pitching nearly as well as he has lefties over the last three seasons, making him easy to put in the lineup against anybody.
It's difficult to predict what's going to happen with a player this old, but I don't think he's a candidate to suddenly collapse and be a total hinderence to his team overnight. Either way, giving Sanders a short-term contract fits in with the direction of the ballclub and, unless it takes Baird out of the hunt for another starting pitcher, is about as good of a use for his remaining resources as there is.
L-R: Dad, Mom, Regina, Richard, Meagan, and KRB
L-R: Regina, KRB, Joe, Richard, and Meagan