Via Megan Stock of Around the Horn:
Meche, 29, was an American League All-Star in his first season with the Royals. He posted a 9-13 record, but set career highs in starts (34), innings pitched (216), ERA (3.67) and quality starts (23) while equaling his career high with 156 strikeouts. Meche tied for the A.L. lead in starts and finished eighth in innings pitched. His 3.67 ERA was the best by a Royals starting pitcher since Kevin Appier posted a 3.40 ERA in 1997 while his 23 quality starts were the most by a Kansas City hurler since 1993.
The man was brought in to head the rotation, and he did just that. Sure, you can bring up all over again that $11 is too much to pay for a pitcher whose contributions mainly entail ensuring you lost merely 93 games instead of 98, but I'll counter that the passing of days happens one at a time, and that the big picture can't be seen until the details have been filled in. You can't paint with a wide brush in baseball and hope all of a sudden things come together for one magical season. It happens, sure, but you can't count on it. If you do, you get a season like 2003, and then what?
In any case, two other players were honored: Mark Grudzielanek as the Royals Player of the Year and Brian Bannister with the Joe Burke Special Achievement award. You can read all about it in the above link.
POSTSCRIPT: Dayton Moore is interviewed extensively in this article about the Royals' offseason plans. "So I would see us trying to improve our team through free agency, which is a dangerous way to do it, because you end up overpaying," Moore said. "Always have, always will in free agency." Eek. Time to have faith again, people. Another Meche-like free agent coming to KC?