His agent is denying it now, but claims the Royals are the clear front-runners in a three team race. I imagine the deal is as good as done. Reportedly, it's one year, $4 million. I'd say that's a terrific gamble for the Royals. He's coming off an injured season, so maybe he'll be rested enough to give you 135 or so games of great production.
He's not the most likeable guy, but he'll definately be a step in the right (offensive) direction. Would he be the DH (I'd presume so, but I don't know enough about the Royals to make a call on it)? Of course, if he's injured all this year, then that's a different story entirely. Would White be batting behind Sweeney, in that case?
The Royals have quietly done a lot of cheap upgrading over this offseason; I actually figure them as the team to beat in the Central. However, both White and Juanny are a bit ... fragile, to say the least.
Given how much the other two contenders in the central have just tanked this offseason, the Royals have as much chance as anyone, maybe more. Chicago has lost Colon, Gordon, Alomar (maybe not a loss, sadly) and Crazy Carl. Minnesota has lost Guardado and Milton, and added basically nothing. Meanwhile the Royals have made several minor, but good, additions to both their offense and their pitching. I'd say it's a good time to be a Royals fan. Who knows - maybe Runelvys can enter the building in mid season off his Tommy John surgery and carry them to the playoffs. Not likely, maybe, but definitely cause to hope o'er in KC.
The AL Central, hoping this year to be the first division in baseball history to not win a single game outside of division play. This could be the year where a team gets into the baseball playoffs with a sub .500 record, because I honestly cannot see how any of these teams are going to win more than 1/4 or so of their games against real opponents. The White Sox are gutted and are still trying to trade Konerko and Ordonez, the Twins I think actually sold the physical bullpen space along with all the pitchers who once inhabited it...I guess the Royals look decent, though I'm not sure who is going to pitch for them. If the Royals could get a solid starter (is Ponson still on the market?) they would be my runaway pick for this division.
Toil not to gain wealth, cease to be concerned about it. Proverbs 23:4
Hopefully this is just a trial balloon that will be shot down in the days to come, a fair part of the value in the team is the ballpark - but Zell is well known in business circles for taking over distressed properties, and finding a profit where other...