Call me crazy, but I think the time has come for the Royals to extend Felipe Paulino. Paulino is Super 2 arbitration eligible in 2013 and won’t be a free agent until 2015 at the earliest. I think a deal extending him two years with a club option or two might be doable by both sides. A salary breakdown might look like this:
2012 – 1.9 Million
2013 – 3.1 Million
2014 – 4.5 Million
2015 – 7.0 Million (club option)
2016 – 8.0 Million (club option)
Would Paulino go for it? I would certainly think so.
Now, the question is, is he worth it? To me, it is a resounding yes. He’s the best starting pitcher on the team, IMO. Let’s take a look at his numbers since he came to KC:
6-7, 3.66 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, 25 G/24 GS/12 QS, 150 IP, 11 HRA, 57 BB, 148 K, 8.9 K/9, 2.69 K/BB.
Now, I know that’s not ace material, but it is a solid 2-3-4 starter. The Royals are desperate to find reliable starting pitching and they’ve got a solid one already (maybe two if you count Bruce Chen).
It’s time for the Royals to stop waiting on Luke Hochevar to turn the corner, only to see him fall off the sidewalk and turn his ankle. In addition the Royals are behind the 8-ball with Duffy’s injury and Montogmery’s struggles at AAA. Not to mention Chris Dwyer hasn’t made it out of AA ball and John Lamb won’t be back on the mound til next month. There’s more potential pitching help, but it is below AA and the Royals really need pitching help now.
As an aside, I fully support the movement to re-sign Zack Grienke if he makes it to free agency next year. The Royals will have to spend money if they truly want to win and Grienke would be a huge piece of the puzzle. A 2013 rotation of Grienke, Chen, Paulino, Odorizzi, Montgomery/Duffy (later in 2013), sign me up. I would even be in favor of another veteran and keep Odorizzi at AAA for the first part of the season. And by another veteran I don’t mean Luke Hochevar, Jonathan Sanchez, Luis Mendoza, Vin Mazzaro or Sean o’Sullivan. I mean someone like Kyle Lohse or Erik Bedard.