Can you imagine what the Royals’ corner of the Internet would be like if the team actually turns into a contender one of these years? Where else could the trade of a nice (not to be confused with a ‘good’) player on a one year deal getting traded generate this level of interest?
Greg Schaum broke down the prospects shortly after the trade of Scott Podsednik went down and Matt Klaasen over at FanGraphs gave us his analysis of the trade not much later. Minda Haas had a great post on the musings of the casual fan and it’s always fun to read the comment strings over at Royals Review. Plus, we had Nick’s podcast up (see below) as well and all of that is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Having newly integrated myself into the Twitter lifestyle (cfosroyalsauth by the way), I spent enough time following the feed last night on my phone that my wife was certain I had a couple of girlfriends. (Doesn’t she know I have an entirely different phone for them?!!!) At any rate, I cannot offer much more insight than more astute writers already have to what I am considering a ‘good trade’.
Very quickly, the Royals gave up a decent player in Podsednik having a decent year (.310/.353/.400), but his 12 caught stealing and 3 pick-offs (none of which, I believe, were the result of botched hit and runs or missed signs on a sacrifice bunt) mitigate that batting average down to .270 with a .316 on-base percentage. Now, that ‘mitigation’ is the result of some pretty rudimentary statistical analysis, but just let it go, Pods is gone.
In return the Royals acquired a AAA catcher of marginal prospect status with some pop. Now, like everyone else, Luke May has no doubt benefited from playing in Albuquerque (.296/.352/.496), but he also hit .306/.390/.468 in Chattanooga last year. He is still learning the game behind the plate, having converted from shortstop in 2008, but he gives the Royals another high minor catcher to pair with Manny Pina. Frankly, both guys have another full year of watching Jason Kendall play every day in the majors to refine their games.
Dayton Moore also added another young arm in Elisaul Pimentel, who has raised his strikeout rate in each of his last three stops in the minors. I view Pimentel as another guy to put into the ‘second wave of pitchers’ behind the almost unbelievable AA rotation of Montgomery, Duffy, Crow, Dwyer and Lamb. Pimentel fits in with Melville, Sample and recently acquired Will Smith. Hey, you really cannot have enough young arms.
Heck, on this feel good Thursday, I have even reconciled myself to the Royals’ apparent move to a 13 man pitching staff in the short term. While the promotion of Bryan Bullington was at best uninspired and at worst unimaginative, all signs are pointing towards the promotion of reliever Greg Holland (an ACTUAL PROSPECT) to Kansas City. Holland is a power arm who, after getting a rude welcome to AAA, has been lights out since then. He was going to have to be protected from the Rule 5 draft this winter, so Holland needed a 40 man roster spot sooner and later. Plus, as I have been advocating recently, the Royals need to spread out the experience factor of the trio of quality relievers they had in Omaha (Holland, Hardy and Coleman). Chances are that this 13 man staff is a temporary deal, as the Royals continue to market Kyle Farnsworth and might well have seen about all the need to out of Blake Wood and/or Dusty Hughes.
Further helping the mood today, are the statements in the Kansas City Star and on WHB radio this morning of Dayton Moore indicating that Kila Kaa’ihue’s long awaited promition to and installation in the Royals’ everyday lineup ‘can be expected to happen shortly’. Hopefully Giants’ GM Brian Sabean will panic that the Dodgers added Podsednik and offer something, anything, for Jose Guillen. Really, Brian, ANYTHING will do, just offer.
At any rate, it at last just feels like the organization is positioning this team with an eye towards the future. Another look at Alex Gordon, a first look at Greg Holland and a chance for Kila Kaa’ihue are all a start.
Now, Mr. Moore, let’s keep the ball rolling.