Buddy Bell wasn't kidding: Costa in, Guiel out

810 WHB this morning reported that Aaron Guiel has been told he will not head north with the Royals when they break camp later this week. Barring a trade we don't know about, this means that 24-year-old Shane Costa has won a spot on the roster, and he will serve as the fourth outfielder.

RC definitely didn't see this coming. Buddy Bell said that Costa was a serious candidate, but we dismissed that notion, figuring he was merely playing media games. It should be clear by now that Bell doesn't do that. We liked what we saw from Costa when we were in Arizona, but we never expected him to actually make the club.

Of course, if Costa has in fact made the team, it doesn't necessarily mean that the Royals tagged him to be their fourth outfielder for long. As we mentioned yesterday, the Royals are still going to have clear space on the 25-man roster for Runelvys Hernandez when he returns to the rotation in mid-April, and the best bet right now is that Costa will be the man sent to Omaha when that happens. Of course, that would leave Esteban German as the primary backup outfielder, with Matt Stairs the only remaining emergency option. And there's always the possibility that something else is in the works, as Allard Baird may be looking to add another outfielder to the roster via trade.

RC wishes Aaron Guiel the best of luck, wherever he winds up.

Regardless, this is a tough break for Guiel, who had seemingly done everything the Royals asked of him. RC isn't going to rush to judgement on this move, since we don't know if anything else is in the works. As always, it will be interesting to see how things unfold from here.


At 3/29/2006 1:31 PM, Blogger Max said...

I don't understand why you don't want to give Costa the chance to play every day in Omaha and reward Guiel for his performance last year.

I normally don't have much sympathy for the way players are treated by management, since its just a business, but the way the Royals treated Guiel was pretty crappy. If they never had any intention of letting him be on the team as a fourth outfielder, they should have released him a long time ago.

At 3/29/2006 2:39 PM, Blogger ksuim4u said...

I agree. This is a crappy deal all around. Costa needs the at bats that he won't get in the bigs, and Guiel deserves the spot if he earned it over Ambres. Plus, Guiel rocks. This sucks.

At 3/29/2006 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you think Costa will get plenty of at bats replacing Sanders? I think 120-130 games is the most to expect from Sanders (and that might be a long shot).

Not to say I don't like the move. I do....if you have hopes of Costa someday being a starting does this make sense?

At 3/29/2006 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mean I don't like the move....unless someone can explain it to me?

At 3/29/2006 5:33 PM, Blogger royalsbeliever said...

It's the opposite of what we should've done, plain and simple.

At 3/29/2006 6:11 PM, Anonymous melhouse29 said...

Here's my understanding of it:

Assume for a minute that Guiel makes the roster.

What happens when Redman or Hernandez comes back? That'll be about the time you want a full staff of 12 pitchers, so 1 of the bench players will need to go.

The bench (as it would have stood) would have been: Guiel, German, Graffanino, Bako, and Stairs. (w/ Sweeney DH and Mintk as 1B)

Bako can't go anywhere because he's the backup catcher.

So you have 4 guys left to choose from, none of whom have options left, so whoever you choose to move has to be exposed to waivers. It's not going to be Graffanino or German because they want 2 backup IFs. So it comes down to Guiel or Stairs, with the likely choice being Guiel that would have been gone.

However, with Costa on the roster, they can option him down when the fifth starter comes back, making the decision easier in mid/late April. (This assumes that German could play CF in a pinch for a few innings if DeJesus were to get hurt during a game. Kerry Robinson would likely come up as the replacement once DeJesus went on the DL).

At 3/29/2006 6:18 PM, Blogger Dave said...

I honestly think one of three things is going to happen.

1) Costa is in KC for two weeks during which time he'll get some at bats, some extra time with Bell and Andre David, and be shipped to Omaha when the Royals need the extra starter. In that scenario, this move is completely harmless.

2) Costa remains on the ballclub as the fourth outfielder throughout the season, in which case the Royals will be sure to get him plenty of at bats. They've already expressed publicly that if he made the club, he wouldn't be there to sit on the bench -- it's not as if they don't realize that he still needs to get his ABs to continue developing. I like scenario #1 better, but #2 isn't as bad as it's being made out to be. Maybe Bell even sets up a platoon situation in LF.

3) The Royals have something else in the offing. Don't know what it might be, but as much as things have changed in the last 72 hours, I don't think anything could surprise me right now.

As I said in my post, it's far too early to pass judgement on this, because we still don't know what the plan is with Costa.

At 3/29/2006 6:19 PM, Anonymous tfn said...

I might be wrong, but I don't think Guiel is out of options either.

At 3/29/2006 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With a Sanders, Brown and Dejesus outfield, it's insane not to carry a couple REAL backups, I would expect the royals' fourth outfielder to make at least 40 starts.

What on earth has Costa done to show he's ready for the bigs? he hasn't impressed in any minor league stop, looked over his head in the bigs last year, and had a sub-par spring.

At 3/29/2006 6:50 PM, Blogger Dave said...

I certainly wouldn't say he's had a sub-par spring. He looks like a completely different hitter this year, and his stats over 38 at bats are nothing to get down on. In my time in Arizona, I personally saw him hit at least three ropes right at people. Two of those balls drop, and Costa's sporting a .342 spring batting average -- thus proving the futility of labeling any 38 at bat span "sub-par".

The important thing to look for over such a short time frame is how hard the player is hitting the ball. Over the course of a season, things will balance out. Costa has been hitting the ball hard all spring.

At 3/29/2006 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember back in 2004 watching Cesar Crespo hit the piss out of the ball all spring training long.

At 3/29/2006 7:07 PM, Blogger Dave said...

So, what you're saying is that Cesar Crespo didn't have a "sub-par" spring. Fine. Wilson Valdez didn't have a "sub-par" spring either, but he didn't have a chance at making the team.

At 3/29/2006 7:45 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

I'm honestly not as surprised as the rest of you are, if only because the Royals apparently see the same thing I do: that Aaron Guiel and Matt Stairs are the same player. As long as Costa gets to play, I like it.

At 3/29/2006 7:51 PM, Anonymous Garth said...

Could Costa be sorta-kinda platooning with Emil Brown? I mean, Emil's good and all against lefties, but... well, I'll just say I'd rather have Stairs groping around out there in the outfield if we get his bat against righties.

I wish I had more time to look around to try to find some minor league numbers for him, but Costa basically only batted against righties last year.

Who knows? Just an idea. Sanders needing a consistant backup might be a reason, too.

At 3/29/2006 8:40 PM, Blogger royalsbeliever said...

Now that Dave has explained some possible scenarios, I'm not near as frustrated about it. But, I'm hoping we can either sign Richard Hidalgo to be the 4th outfielder or we can trade for Mench/Kearns, though unlikely that either of those three will happen.

At 3/29/2006 8:41 PM, Blogger royalsbeliever said...

Also, am I reading a miss-print or did Billy Butler really get 1 AB in today's game against the Mariners? It couldn't have been a pitcher because it was a AL game, so did the Royals call him to the major league camp? I don't know, I just know if says Butler LF 0-1.

At 3/29/2006 8:43 PM, Blogger royalsbeliever said...

Also, the man that should be our second baseman, if you don't know who I'm talking about then go to Royals Mania, went 3-5 with 2 runs and a SB today. Also, hopefully Berroa can have a comeback year this year, because he's hitting .480 this Spring Training!

At 3/29/2006 8:45 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Billy Butler's actually gotten an at bat in each of the last two games. He's still not in Major League camp, but it's customary for clubs to have minor leaguers fill out the roster for games late in spring, after the ML camp has been reduced as much as it has.

Lubanski got an at bat today too.

At 3/30/2006 10:37 AM, Blogger Bret LaGree said...

This move makes so little sense, that Jeffrey Flanagan is scoring points off Buddy Bell in the Star this morning.


Flanagan does lose the plot towards the end, but clearly, being assigned to Omaha is the kiss of death in this organization.

At 3/30/2006 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ridiculous. Guiel is a class act who has paid his dues over and over again. 30 homers at Omaha don't lie. He's a good clubhouse guy, a good contributor on the field and combined, those count for a lot.

At 3/30/2006 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jefferey Flanagan is an idiot. He also took points off the organization when they soured on Ken Harvey...

At 3/30/2006 6:30 PM, Anonymous melhouse29 said...

"Guiel is a class act who has paid his dues over and over again"

Yep, the Royals sure screwed over Guiel -- after all, if it wasn't for the Royals:

- Guiel would have retired from the Mexican leagues several years ago.

- Guiel never would have gotten a major league at bat.

- Guiel never would have drawn a major league salary.

- Guiel definitely would have been finished once his eye problems surfaced.

- Guiel wouldn't have drawn a major league salary while rehabbing his eyes.

If it wasn't for the Royals, Guiel would have been done last year as he was offered TWICE(!!) to everyone with no takers (rule V draft, + when he was released)

And if it wasn't for Baird, Guiel never would have been discovered in the first place (other GMs probably aren't going to be scouring the Mexican leagues for talent....)

Yep, sure looks like the Royals screwed up Guiel's life....

C'mon -- the Royals have treated Guiel better than anyone else in baseball.

At 4/02/2006 3:20 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Ambres has cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Omaha. I'm not a guy who puts any reliance on hindsight, but Allard seeming to know what would happen with Mitch Maier and now Ambres is pretty telling.

At 4/02/2006 4:02 PM, Anonymous tfn said...

Matt Diaz too.


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