The Royals’ big move of the winter meetings thus far has turned out to be trading Yamaico Navarro to the Pirates for two low minors prospects:  Brooks Pounders and Deigo Goris.  Both players have some intrigue to them and both are years away from the majors.  The haul was very similar to that extracted from Detroit in the Wilson Betemit deal last summer.

The interesting thing about this trade is that is was made primarily to clear space for a possible Rule 5 draft pick.   There is speculation that this pick might be used on a utility middle infielder:  you know, someone kind of like a Yamaico Navarro.   The Royals are also thinking that they might well lose Rey Navarro, another infielder, in this morning’s draft. 

It seems like maybe Kansas City could have just kept Yam Navarro, but there is talk they did not care for his defense.  It also seems that if they were going to trade one Navarro and concerned about losing the other Navarro (Rey), then one could have moved Navarro, Rey not Yam, onto the 40 man roster.   Especially considering they lost a non-Navarro middle infielder in Jeff Bianchi to the waiver process a few weeks prior.

Now, Yamaico Navarro had defensive concerns and Rey Navarro, who has shown the ability to hit for all of about 60 days of his minor league career, was probably  not worthy of a 40 man spot (and frankly, I don’t think he gets taken in the Rule 5 anyway), so nothing earth shattering has happened here.    I have to believe the Royals were aware enough to know that Bianchi probably would not make it through the open market (everyone on Twitter was certain he wasn’t so one would hope Dayton Moore was cognizant of that probability as well).  That tells me that the organization has at least a passing interest in entertaining Chris Getz as a utility player, that they are serious about signing a veteran infielder (Renteria is the current popular rumor), or there is someone in the Rule 5 they like better than either Navarro. 

We have heard names like Ryan Flaherty, Cole Gillaspie and Beamer Weems, among otheres, bandied about and that means, as someone else has already pointed out, that Dayton Moore will draft a pitcher or a centerfielder or no one.   It is very possible, that the trade of Navarro was simply to give Moore some flexibility to explore Rule 5 opportunities, while opening up a roster spot for signing his veteran infielder.

It might be an interesting morning.    Here’s the truly great thing about where the Royals are right now:  for maybe the first time in ten years, one of the real considerations of picking a Rule 5 guy is whether Kansas City has room on its roster for such a player.   This team may not be a contender in 2012, but they have certainly moved to the point where wasting a roster spot in hopes of future gain is no longer a viable option.

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