The NFL draft and the Royals litter this week’s power rankings. Let’s see how everything shook out.
5) Miami Dolphins
While I don’t think the Miami Dolphins will end up trading for the number one pick, I do think the negotiations between the Dolphins and Chiefs may lead to a Albert trade. Peter King reported this morning Kansas City is looking for a high second round pick for Albert, something Miami can provide.
Miami essentially holds the key to the Chiefs draft. Kansas City has some needs to fill if they want to make a serious run for the playoffs and that is going to require at least one pick in the second round. While people might be sad to see Albert go, I do see him as a very replaceable part. Albert isn’t Joe Thomas, he’s more John Tait in terms of quality. Tait was a very good player, but he was a replaceable player that either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher could fill.
From a Miami perspective, I’d rather pay more in draft picks to trade up into the top three or five picks to get Joeckel or Fisher than trade for Albert. While Albert is more proven and would cost less in a trade, Joeckel and Fisher will be the better player for longer as well as being financially cheaper. Miami could easily have the number one overall pick for their one, a second round pick, and a 2014 third round pick. This means they would only lose one draft pick for this season (as they would in an Albert trade), obtain a significantly better tackle than Lane Johnson, and save a ton of money against their salary cap. And if they maneuver their second round pick correctly, they could probably get the 2014 third round pick back, too.
What Chiefs fans need to understand is this is probably one of the least valuable first round picks in years, maybe decades. The value that a number one overall pick should create in a trade simply doesn’t exist. If Kansas City can get the picks back they gave up for Alex Smith then the trade is a win. And the player the Chiefs will get a 12 overall won’t be that much different in terms of talent than Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher. In fact, 12 overall might be Tavon Austin territory, which could potentially be a “DeSean Jackson-like” pick for the Chiefs and feel a big need that they have at wide receiver.
We knew he would give up home runs, but it is hard to not be happy with the early results from Santana this season. After giving up three homers in Chicago, Santana has be great it his last two starts allowing just two earned runs while striking out 11 in 16 innings of work.
Parks like Fenway, where Santana is due to pitch next, are probably going to eat him alive given his home run tendencies. If he can keep the walks down (5 in 22 innings) hopefully the damage won’t be so bad when he does allow the home run(s). The good news is he won’t have to pitch at Fenway again after this week, and most of his starts will be in big parks like Kansas City, Detroit and Minnesota, which also happen to be the games that matter the most.
If Santana continues to go six-plus innings and keep the Royals in the game like he has in all three of his starts then he’ll be worth the one-year, $12 million Kansas City is playing him.
The NFL draft is 10 days away and still nobody knows what the Chiefs are going to do with the first overall pick in the draft.
There has been some speculation that the Chiefs are “begging” other teams to take the pick off of their hands, which may be the reason why the Miami Dolphins have some interest in Kansas City’s pick. As the draft gets closer, the more and more anxious Chiefs fans are going to become. It is going to be a fun 10 days.
2) Sporting Kansas City
Sporting is near the end of a 12-day break but they will come out of it hitting a brutal two-game week that will see them travel to New York to face the Red Bull on Wednesday and then to Los Angeles to face Galaxy on Saturday. Good thing they will be rested, eh?
Sporting sits one point behind the Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference standings and are riding a two-game winning streak. A couple of ties this week would be tremendous given then travel and competition.
There is always going to be skepticism about the Royals. Always.
As Sam Mellinger would say, we come by this honestly. Years of losing again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again…
…and again, and again will do that do you. The stats are astronomically bad, the memories are even worse, and after nearly 30 years without a playoff appearance things dive below depression-level sorrow.
So after the way the Royals looked against the Toronto Blue Jays it easy to simply say, “Well, here comes the collapse,” and it is even easier to say that looking at the Royals insane road trip that is ahead of them. All three teams the Royals will face in the next two weeks are in first place in their division as we speak, and their next opponent, the Braves, just swept the Nationals. The next 10 games are going to be about treading water as much as anything, and it is entirely possible Kansas City could come out of this road trip 3-7.
But before you jump off a cliff remember that the Royals are going to hit more than four home runs this year, Mike Moustakas will bat better than .158 this season, and Miguel Tejada won’t play at first base every day (we hope). Ervin Santana and James Shields are actually good starting pitchers (though Santana’s probably going to get roughed up in Boston), the bullpen will continue to be awesome, and we are getting closer to the returns of Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino. The Royals are going to be a better team than we are used to so trying to extend your fuse longer than you’d normally have it. The next 12 days may be brutal but it won’t be an accurate reflection of this club’s talent and potential.