MLB Kansas City Royals

5 Most Debatable Moves for Kansas City Royals in 2013

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5 Most Debatable Moves for Kansas City Royals in 2013

5 Most Debatable Moves for Kansas City Royals in 2013
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

It's no doubt that the Kansas City Royals had a positive year especially by their own standards, but no team is without its faults and mistakes. GM Dayton Moore was vocal about being active in the free agency and trade markets, and his words have been proven true as of late with several key moves. With the New Year at our doorsteps, now is the time to sit back and reflect on what changes were made to the Royals in preparation of an incredibly important 2014 season. We've already discussed the Royals' five best moments of the year, so now it's time to be a Debbie Downer and talk about the moves that frustrated and confused Royals fans abroad.

After giving fans like myself more hope for future success than perhaps ever before, KC hasn't been afraid to wheel and deal in this busy offseason. By year's end, the team's needs were clear and everyone involved with roster changes was ready to cater to those needs. Second base, as I've mentioned here before, was a big weak point for KC moving forward, so much debate was had on what the organization should do at this position. The outfield, especially right field, was another area that needed improvement, leading to a steady stream of rumors about changes at that position. Before too long, some less commonly-mentioned weaknesses were addressed by the acquisition of third baseman Danny Valencia and the addition of some minor-league depth.

Since we still have more than a month and a half to wait until pitchers and catchers report, Royals fans everywhere have nothing better to do than debate the validity of Moore and co.'s decisions. Here are the five most debatable moves that have already been made, but keep in mind that trading away Billy Butler will immediately top this list if the Royals are foolish enough to ever do so.

Doug LaCerte is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @DLaC67, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Letting Felipe Paulino sign elsewhere (for cheap)

Letting Felipe Paulino sign elsewhere (for cheap)
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

After rehabbing Felipe Paulino in their farm system, the Royals released the aging starter this year to make room on the roster before the Winter Meetings and Rule 5 draft. Shortly thereafter, Paulino signed with the Chicago White Sox for one year and a paltry $1.75 million. While re-signing Paulino would've been a gamble, it would've been a cheap one and the 1.67 ERA he posted before his injury in 2012 was enough to warrant it in the minds of many.

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4. Not re-signing Ervin Santana

Not re-signing Ervin Santana
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Sources within the organization explained that the money saved to potentially re-sign Ervin Santana this year was used to bring in Jason Vargas and Omar Infante. According to these sources, that makes the chance of bringing back Santana “remote”. Although spending a lot to retain him would be costly, the Royals just won't be the same without Santana as their no. 2 starter next year. Only time will tell if this decision will pay off in the upcoming years.

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3. Signing Jason Vargas

Signing Jason Vargas
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Many fans sighed and shook their heads when they heard about the four-year deal given to this soft-tossing lefty. While his career ERA hovers around 4.00 and he regularly eats a lot of innings, Vargas is no Ervin Santana and the fans know it.

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2. Trading Lough for Valencia

Trading Lough for Valencia
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

David Lough was a remarkably clutch contributor for KC in his brief time with the team. Trading him for a backup or platoon-mate for the young and struggling Mike Moustakas made many fans scratch their heads. If Moose breaks through this year, this makes the loss of Lough completely without recompense.

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1. Trading Smith for Aoki

Trading Smith for Aoki
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Trading young reliever Will Smith for right fielder Norichika Aoki is an interesting move to say the least. Aoki provides an unorthodox improvement to the lineup by setting the table for the other big bats, but he won't have the pop that fans would want from that position. Whether or not losing young and talented pitching will be worth it remains to be seen.