As usual, Dayton Moore strikes early in the off-season.   This morning, the Royals traded Melky Cabrera to San Fransico for starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez and minor league pitcher Ryan Verdugo.

Sanchez, a lefty, will turn 29 on November 19th and is arbitration eligible for the last time this off-season.   He made $4.8 million last season, when he threw just 101.1 innings and spent two stints on the disabled list.  Here’s what to like about Sanchez:  he is hard to hit.   For his major league career Sanchez has allowed just 7.7 hits per 9 innings and struck out 9.4 batters per 9 innings.   Here’s what to dislike:  he walks a metric ton of batters (4.8/9 innings).

Hurt in 2011, outstanding in 2010, decent in 2009, not very good in  2008:  that’s a quick summary of his career as a regular major league starter.

Now, Verdugo is kind of intriguing.    He will turn 25 in April and has not been above AA yet.   After being outright dominant as a reliever in his first three professional season, Ryan was moved to the rotation for his AA debut in 2011 and gave up just 115 hits in 130 innings of work, striking out 133 and walking 63.   Frankly, he strikes me as something of a younger version of well….Jonathan Sanchez.

Okay, do you like it or not?