Contract fireworks are exploding around the league, and the Royals haven't been involved to much extent, which I suppose is a good thing when one considers the big bucks being paid to players this offseason. Dayton Moore pulled the trigger on a trade for C Jason LaRue, who at the very least is an upgrade from Bako. Today he also flipped wild but young and fast RP Ambiorix Burgos to the Mets for SP Brian Bannister, which I can see as a wash if not a good deal for KC. We'll see how Burgos is used by the Mets and how he stands up to the New York pressure. Bannister got off to a good start in '05 for the Mets but hurt his hamstring and didn't make it back into the rotation. Hopefully he can fare better than other NL pitchers who have tried to make a go of it in the tougher AL. Moore gave some new guys a shot recently by inviting guys like castoff SP Dewon Brazelton and RP Wayne Franklin to spring training in '07. I don't know whether to be disgusted to see the Royals make no splash at all in terms of a signing or happy to see them not wasting money like in past hot stove seasons. They're still rumored to be after Gil Meche, Rodrigo Lopez and Octavio Dotel, although I'm not sure what the point would be of bringing in a closer when you have trouble getting games for that guy to close because of crappy starting pitchers. Lopez or Meche I could stand to see, but they can save their money on Dotel likely, as well as Miguel Batista if he stays on the radar screen. If Sanders or Emil is included in a deal for Lopez, I can see that as a double bonus. Meche is rumored to be a longshot and is looking to go to the Cubs according to ESPN.com. I gotta say it's hard not to be disillusioned by all the teams in the running for good players and your big names acquired thus far are Jason LaRue and Brian Bannister.