JACK'S SMACK: Royals are so close, yet so far to being really good

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Several hours before the Royals announced the signing of left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas of the Angels, I had written in this space suggesting it was the ideal time for David Glass to get baseball fans thinking about the Royals.

We needed some kind of splash, something to pre-occupy us from what happened in Denver with the Chiefs.

The signing of Vargas looks like a win-win situation. The Royals get a starting pitcher and don't have to give up anything. Vargas, who has an overall career-losing record 51-58 gets a $32 million contract.

Pretty good deal.

Now, the trade of Prince Fielder from Detroit to Texas for Ian Kinsler certainly got everyone's attention. It got mine in a big way.

I only wish the Royals had been involved in this one.

Why not how about Billy Butler and a prospect or two for Kinsler?

The Royals need a second baseman in the worst way. They haven't had one since Frank White. Kinsler would have been a perfect fit.

I'm not suggesting Butler is Prince Fielder by any stretch of the imagination, but for the right price, why not?

While it doesn't hurt to have fielder out of the division, the Royals cannot compete with the Tigers with this current roster. There's no way David Glass can spend like Mitch Ilitch, the 82-year-old pizza baron who owns the Detroit Tigers.

He gets it.

Detroit owner says, "fans want to see stars. If you want stars, you must pay the price."

Look, the Royals are so close to being really good, but yet so far away because of this ownership.

The deals are there to be made. It's time to do something bold, time to make a statement to the fans that this team will do anything it takes to win.

That's all we ask.

You don't get to where you want to go by signing 31-year-old starting pitchers to four-year contracts.

That's Jack's Smack.

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