Royals Authority

Deconstructing The Process

The trades made by Dayton Moore this weekend pointed out the wide disparity of opinions that one fan base can have.   While the majority of us blogging about the team and those who read what we spew out were in favor of moving veterans like Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel, it was interesting to read or hear the reactions of many other fans (casual or serious) who hated the moves.  

While finding a united opinion amongst a fan base might be impossible, I would wager that if you went back in time to early 2007, we Royals’ fans had visions of lots of series like this:

  • Friday night – a walkoff home run by Alex Gordon
  • Saturday night – a two run go ahead homer by Billy Butler in the 8th
  • Sunday afternoon – a run scoring double in the first from Butler and a home run from Gordon in the fourth

Never mind that the games were against the Orioles and never mind that the sweep only got the Royals within 15 games of .500:  THIS is what we thought/hoped would be the norm by now.   Maybe it was just a good weekend against a bad team, but maybe, just maybe, it is the start of something good.

At any rate, for most of us, this was a fun weekend to be a fan of the Kansas City Royals.   In addition to the Gordon-Butler heroics, we saw the organization, for maybe the first time, really embrace the future as opposed to paying it just lip service.

Alberto Callaspo and Scott Podsednik were both good enough players that the Royals could have kept them, ran out the ‘not enough value coming back to trade’ line and ground out a couple of more wins between now and October, but instead they shipped them out for four younger players.   One of those younger players is Sean O’Sullivan, who 11 innings into his Royals’ career, I am already more confident in than Brian Bannister or Kyle Davies.

What the above two moves really did, however, was solidify an everyday spot in the lineup for Alex Gordon’s next last chance and opened up third base for Mike Moustakas whenever he is ready to take on major league pitching (the over under is May 22, 2011, who’s in?).

Dayton Moore followed up those two deals by doing what all the old crusty columnists say cannot be done:  trade garbage for value.   Nothing personally against, Ankiel and Farnsworth, but they have enough warts on their professional baseball resumes that trading them seemed pretty illogical.   Instead, Moore went to the Braves’ well once more and pulled out an unconventional reliever with real upside (Tim Collins) and a serviceable centerfielder (Gregor Blanco), plus another reliever.   Return aside, the upside of that deal is that it clears out one more veteran who was just going to take at-bats from players who need them (Maier, for example) and another who was in the way of letting the Royals have a look at the crop of young relievers coming up in the system.

After all that, the Royals still found themselves with one Jose Guillen too many, but that did not deter them from recalling Kila Kaa’ihue from Omaha.   The long awaited and much deserved promotion was welcome news, even if the plan to get him at-bats was less than pleasing.   

This will be a test of what Ned Yost is about as, fresh off signing a two year deal to manage the Royals, he should be ready to find at-bats for Kaa’ihue at the expense of Jose Guillen and, to a smaller extent, Willie Bloomquist (which means Guillen in right field, but who doesn’t need to see that a couple times a week?!).    With the trade of Podsednik, it’s easy to put Gordon in left and ‘find out’, but it’s going to take a little intestinal fortitude to right Kaa’ihue in the lineup everyday with Jose Guillen glaring at you from across the locker room.

Of course, the idea of trading Guillen in August is very much alive.   With all the activity over the weekend, there are teams out there who woke up Sunday morning and wondered if they could have/should have done more.   Guillen will clear waivers and hence tradable all the way through August to whomever might be in panic mode.   The key for Yost and Moore is to not wait for Guillen to be moved before installing Kaa’ihue in the everyday lineup.    

Hey, no one said being general manager or manager of a major league team is all sunshine and roses (although it has to be pretty sweet gig).   Sometimes you have to get called an SOB by an angry veteran for the good of the team’s future.    You got the new contract Ned – now go out there and write down the lineup that will help you win meaningful games in 2011 and 2012 and not meaningless games this August.

Myself and many Royals fans were waiting with baited breath, in desperate hopes that they would move some of the unnecessary veterans on this team for some younger talent.  Moving Callaspo and Podsednik earlier was a nice start, but with guys like Guillen, Ankiel and Farnsworth on the team there was still lots of potential moves out there. Very few rumors had been floated at all today and I felt that portended no activity.  However at the very last moment, it was announced that the Royals traded Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel to the Braves for Gregor Blanco, Jessie Chavez and Tim Collins.  With the absolute dearth of information out there prior to this going down, I think we can safely assume that Dayton picked up his theories on loose lips from his old organization.

Other than keeping Guillen*, I think Dayton handled this trading deadline masterfully.  He clearly realized that there was a long list of players on this team who have no future with this team, so getting something, anything for them at this point in time was a net benefit to the organization.  Not only that, but it allows younger guys like Getz, Aviles, Gordon, Maier and dear God I hope Kila Ka’aihue to get some playing time.

*Guillen will likely be put through waivers in an attempt to trade him after the deadline, so he isn’t quite here to stay just yet.

So, what did the Royals get in this latest deal?

Jessie Chavez

Chavez is a 26 year old relief pitcher who hasn’t been particularly effective. He will probably move into the bullpen immediately to replace Farnsworth.  He has a good K/9 of 7.0 and also a good BB/9 of 3.33 in his 119 innings of work in the majors.  However he is a big-time flyball pitcher with 43% of the hits being of that variety.  That might play well at spacious Kauffman Stadium,  but it remains to be seen.  Right now he is just a bullpen guy who is cheaper than Farnsworth and under team control for longer.

Gregor Blanco

Blanco is a 26 year old lefty outfielder.  He has a higher carrer OBP .361 than Scott Podsednik .341.  He has never shown the ability to hit with power, but seems to be a leadoff type of guy.  His numbers show some speed and he has started more games at the leadoff spot than any other slot in the lineup.  My guess is that he will take the place of Ankiel on the MLB roster, and will be a filler or 4th outfielder type.

Tim Collins

Collins is clearly the most intriguing part of this trade.  He is listed at 5’7 155, but word on the street is that he is more likely 5’5.  So in a word, he is short.  But what he lacks in height he makes up for in stuff.   He has a 2.29 ERA this year  in 51 IP, with 87 strikeouts to 19 walks.  He can hit 93mph on the radar gun and has a nice curveball and changeup.  He projects as a potential setup man in the majors.  This is the guy who is most important in this whole trade.  He has the highest ceiling and the best chance at being an impact major leaguer.  Beyond that, can you imagine what kind of fan favorite a 5’5 fireballer out of the pen would be?  At the risk of blowing the papers headline pre-emptively, I see something like “Tiny Tim Saves The Day”.  For a good article about Collins read this.

All in all, I am completely happy with the return for a couple of months of Ankiel and Farnsworth.  However, it’s the big picture that is of more importance.  The Royals have added 7 players to their organization in return for Alberto Callaspo and 2 months of Podsednik, Farnsworth and Ankiel.   There has been lots of talk about the Royals youth movement (for a decade now), but this team was actually kind of old.  Jettisoning these veterans, giving younger guys a chance to prove themselves and continuing to stock the minors is the true beginning of this youth movement.

In an additional move, which suprised me, the Royals signed Ned Yost through 2012.  I was beginning to believe that the Royals wouldn’t sign Ned Yost, but I also couldn’t imagine that they would want to go through a manager search in the offseason.  I like Ned Yost more than Trey Hillman.  He has some things that annoy me (Kendall batting 2nd), but overall he is a fine manager in my eyes.  I don’t believe the manager does much in the way of strategy anyway, so how he handles the clubhouse is probably of the most importance.  I can’t pretend that I have any clue as to how he does at that job, but my guess is that Dayton does and signing him through 2012 should tell you what he thinks.

Busy day for the Royals, what do you think of the moves?

Here are the Royals top five contributors this season as ranked by WAR:

David DeJesus – 2.9
Billy Butler – 2.6
Jose Guillen – 1.4
Scott Podsednik – 1.3
Alberto Callaspo – 1.2

You don’t need me to tell you, but three of those guys aren’t playing for this team anymore.

As such, we need to adjust our expectations.  With those guys, the Royals were a fourth place team.  Without them, the Royals are a fifth place team.

(The Royals were probably a fifth place team even with those guys.  Check their run differential.  They’re at -113.  Granted, they weren’t that low before their epic string of beatdowns this week.  Still…)

For those of you who concern yourself with the standings (which, if you truly are a Royals fan is so 1988… get over it.) this is a huge loss.  Those of you who follow The Process and prefer to look at the big picture, this isn’t a big deal.  While I don’t fully buy into The Process (I remain unconvinced GMDM can construct a 25-man roster – we’re on version 3.0 of the eight man bullpen.) I subscribe to the latter.  Yes, the Royals are going to lose a lot of games over the final two months, but this is an opportunity.  It’s an opportunity to look forward.

(By the way, I know Clark linked to Minda’s post sampling Facebook reaction to the Podsednik trade, but I’m going to serve it up again.  Not only is it hilarious, it serves as a  reminder those of us in the blogosphere are serving a niche of a niche.  The majority of fans see Scotty Pods’ .310 batting average and 30 steals and wonder why the guy isn’t talked about as a candidate for MVP.  It’s true.)

Going forward, here’s what I’d like to see from The Process for the rest of 2010:

— The release (because a trade seems unlikely) of Jose Guillen.
He serves no purpose.  He’s not part of the future.  He’s a sunk cost in that if the Royals were to deal him away, they’d have to pick up a chunk of his salary.

The Royals should put him on waivers after the deadline and hope that one team is dumb desperate enough to claim him.  In the likely event he goes unclaimed, cut him.

— Alex Gordon has to play in left field every day the rest of the way.
He can have one day off – August 11 when the Royals finish up a nine game west coast road trip with a day game against Los Angeles.  The way the rest of the schedule sets up over the final two months, that’s all he’ll need for rest.

— Willie Bloomquist needs to be traded or kept in a utility role where his appearances are limited.
Credit to Yost for taking this long before falling for Wee Willie’s obvious charms.  If he gets 100 plate appearances between now and the end of the season, it will come at the expense of Maier and Gordon.  This cannot happen.

And batting him leadoff is inexcusable. I don’t care we don’t have a “true” leadoff man now that Podsednik is gone. (Pods wasn’t a “true” leadoff man either, but now that he’s gone that’s the Dodgers problem.)

– Play Chris Getz everyday. While I’m pretty sure I know what the Royals have in Getz (not much), I’d still like to see him for the final two months.  Move Aviles over to short – his arm has to be able to handle it by now – and let Getz play out the season at second.  If anything, you would improve the defense up the middle.

– No clue what to do about the pitching. The Royals hands are kind of tied there.  This has to be the end of the line for Kyle Davies who surrendered four walks in five innings to the team who takes the fewest walks in the AL.  It’s gotten to the point where if he’s pitching, I’m watching something else.  I would probably be fine just pitching Farnsworth, Tejeda and Soria out of the pen for the rest of the season if only because I don’t want to watch Wood groove fastballs anymore.

– Free Kila. ‘Nuff said.

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.

Episode #027 – Nick reacts to the Podsednik trade, discusses Meche’s surgery, weighs the criticisms and praises of Dayton Moore and says FREE KILA.

:http://www.livekc.com/podcasts/bbs027.mp3|titles=BBS

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I’m here to write the epitaph on Gil Meche’s career with the Royals.

Yes, he’s only out for the season and he’s signed through next year, but you can’t honestly expect him to pitch again for this team.  I think he’s done as a Royal.

(It’s possible I could be jumping the gun on this. Nobody will know exactly his timetable for return until he goes under the knife and the surgeons poke around.  Given his history though, and past recovery times, I’m betting his days in Kansas City are over.)

If, in fact, Meche has thrown his final pitch as a Royal, he will always be remembered for his start on June 16, 2009 – A 132 pitch shutout against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  It’s fitting he’ll be remembered for that game, because it was his finest start as a Royal.

9 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO

It was worth a Game Score of 84.  Hell, according to Game Score, it was the best game of his career.

We’ll always have the Diamondback game.

Ironic isn’t it, that the best game of Meche’s career was the beginning of the end.  He was shelled in his next start.  And again…  Then came the fateful “dead arm” and subsequent 121 pitch outing just two days after a bullpen session.

Here’s how Meche fared in his career as a Royal.  I’ve broken them down in two parts.  One, Before Shutout (BS) – which actually includes that start. The other, After Shutout (AS).

I’ve said it before, so I’ll say it again.  It wasn’t the 132 pitch outing that spelled doom for Meche. That 132 pitch outing on June 16, 2009 was borderline insane, but it wasn’t the nail in the coffin.  The nails were pounded in over the next several starts when Meche couldn’t pitch past the fifth inning.  The final nail was on July 1 when, just two days removed from throwing a bullpen session to test his “dead arm” Meche was allowed to throw 121 pitches in a start against the Twins.

I won’t fault Dayton Moore for spending big to bring Meche to Kansas City prior to the 2007 season, signing him to a five year deal.  It was derided by many, including famously by JP Riccardi the then General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. “When a guy talks about coming to our place where he has a chance to win… and then he goes to a place like Kansas City, that’s an eye opener.” (Ha! I’ve said the same about Rick Ankiel.)

The 2007 season was Meche’s age 28 season.  He wasn’t a great – or even good – pitcher at that point, but his strikeouts were rising, his walk rate was falling and so was his hit rate.  Couple the improvement with his relative youth and you’re signing a guy like this based on potential.  It’s a gamble.  Probably no more of a gamble than any other free agent signing, but still… The Royals have little margin for error.  Remember, this was back in the day prior everyone learning The Process would take eight to ten years.  Most of us figured it would be four years.  Maybe five.  If that was to be the case, then inking Meche to those kind of terms was the kind of gamble that could pay huge dividends.  By his final year of the contract, he would be 32.  With the proper care and usage, it was possible he could be in the prime of his career.

Sometimes the best laid plans…

Don’t get me wrong.  The blood is on everyone’s hands.  No one gets out of this with a clear conscience.  Blame Dayton Moore for not stepping in following the 132 pitch shutout and making sure his field staff handled him with care.  Blame GMDM again for not doing the same following his “dead arm” that came several starts post-shutout.  Blame the medical staff for failing to grasp the gravity of the issue.  Of course you can blame Trey Hillman.  I couldn’t believe what I saw in the game following his “dead arm” bullpen session when Meche was allowed to return to the mound after throwing 99 pitches through five innings.  I thought then that what Hillman did that afternoon was a fireable offense. Oh, you can also blame Meche for all of this.  I get the feeling he was less than truthful with the Royals medical staff and management.  Sure, it’s one thing to be a “warrrior” who “takes the ball every fifth day,” but Meche – who had missed two full seasons with shoulder ailments in the early part of the decade – should have known better.

Fangraphs has a nifty little formula where they assign a dollar amount to a player based on his performance for the season.  Kind of the opposite way MLB contracts work – they pay based on past performance.  Here’s how Meche has done in his time with the Royals.

According to this formula, Meche has been worth $46.8 million to the Royals over the last three and a half years.  He’s roughly $8.2 million short.  Maybe GMDM, Hillman and Meche can divide the bill three ways to make amends.  If only it were that simple…

Many of us will wonder why it took the Royals and Meche so long to come to the conclusion that surgery was the only option.  The numbers make it clear he had been hurting for quite some time.  By delaying what seemed inevitable, the Royals and Meche have almost certainly assured he’s thrown his last pitch as a Royal.  The Royals termed surgery as a “last resort.”  It usually is.

I’m not a doctor (I didn’t even take biology in college) so I’m not in the position to be overly critical here, but I certainly understand wanting to avoid surgery.  The recovery will be long and painful.  The Royals are paying Meche a princely sum, so they want something – anything – from their starter. Losing days to the disabled list isn’t a way to recoup your investment.  Still, you have to wonder if the Royals were just deluding themselves in this situation.  Hoping for the best when all the evidence points to the worst does a disservice to everyone involved.

What a shame.  What a waste.

If you listen to my podcast, which is posted here at Royals Authority and elsewhere, then you probably know that I am not the biggest fan of Scott Podsednik.  We probably all have our own personal favorites and not-so-favorites on the team, its just part of being a fan.  However, sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due, and Scott Podsednik has been on fire lately.

I know he has a 13 game hitting streak, but I kind of thought it was one of those empty streaks with lots of 1 single games.  Not only  does he have 6 multi-hit games during his streak, seven of his 21 hits during the streak have been for extra bases.  He has 3 doubles, 2 triples and 2 homeruns.  During his 13 game hitting streak, Podsednik is hitting .375/.407/.607.

The thing that absolutely blew me away though, was the fact that his streak would be 23 games if not for a single game with no hits on July 7th.  If you look at all of his games from June 21st through yesterday, you have over a month of Podsednik putting up All-Star numbers.  I mean literally All-Star or better type offensive numbers.  Over his last 28 games, Podsednik is hitting .364/.395/.496 for an OPS of .891.  That is excellent production out of the leadoff spot for the Royals.

During the off-season, the Royals signed a bunch of outfielders.  They inked Brian Anderson, Rick Ankiel and Scott Podsednik.  At the time, I thought it was a little crazy, but my guess is that Dayton Moore figured that hopefully one of these guys would end up being productive and instead of just trying to guess which one it would be, he signed all three and hedged his bet.  Brian Anderson is becoming a pitcher, Rick Ankeil has been injured most of the year and I have to admit, Podsednik has been a valuable player.  We know that in most offseasons, the Royals don’t have the money to go out and sign a top flight free agent who has great odds of panning out, so in lieu of that, a great strategy would be to get a bunch of decent guys and hope one has a career year while jettisoning the rest.

On top of that, if the team ends up struggling then you can hopefully trade off the guy who is performing well and net some young talent in return. And that is exactly what may happen. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports last night Tweeted:

Source: Royals getting bombarded with sudden interest in Podsednik from NL West contenders. Would fit for #Giants, #Padres, #Dodgers.

If the Royals can turn Scott Podsednik into some young talent, then it easily will be the best off-season signing of the year for Dayton Moore.  Sometimes as fans we have trouble seeing the forest for the trees, and I think that for me the signing of a bunch of outfielders in this last off-season was one of those times.  Now, if he can only stay healthy until he can be traded.

You can contact Nick at brokenbatsingle at gmail dot com, via twitter @brokenbatsingle or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/brokenbatsingle

After two rain delays and three losses in New York, how many of you are tired of hearing that song?  Anyway….

On Sunday afternoon, Royals’ fans got their first look at newly acquired Sean O’Sullivan:  five innings, seven hits, five runs, no walks and three strikeouts.   O’Sullivan was a bit unlucky in the four run Yankee third inning as Mark Teixeira’s desperation reach went from foul ball to infield single and Scott Podsednik struggled with a ball in the left field corner that combined to lead to two more runs.   Of course, O’Sullivan also surrendered three early shots to the warning track in deep right center as well that happened to stay up long enough to be caught.

I saw a lot of what prospect reports had indicated we might see out of O’Sullivan.   Baseball America two years ago wondered if Sean’s lack of an ‘out pitch’ would make it difficult for him to succeed at the higher levels and there were several reports recently that O’Sullivan’s stuff becomes less effective the second and third times through a batting order.  We saw evidence of both on Sunday.

That said, O’Sullivan has some decent movement on all three pitches and seemed willing to throw fastball, curve or change in just about any count.   His fastball topped out at just under 93 mph and he tossed in some off-speed offerings as low as 74 mph, so O’Sullivan has the ability to mess with a hitter’s timing (his change-up averaged 78 mph, twelve less than his average fastball).   Keeping in mind that he was facing the Yankees for the second time in a week, Sunday’s performance was not totally discouraging.

However, Sunday was another discouraging outing for reliever Blake Wood.   As Craig astutely called about four weeks ago, Wood was simply not getting enough swings and misses to survive in the bigs and yesterday he could not find the strike zone either.   In his last ten outings spanning just over eight innings, Wood has allowed 17 hits and 11 runs, while walking 5 and striking out just 4.   Excluding the intentional walk to Jeter, Wood threw sixteen pitches on Sunday and fifteen were fastballs.    Nobody has that good a fastball.

With three young relievers pitching well in Omaha (Blaine Hardy, Louis Coleman and Greg Holland) it may be time to give Wood some time to work on a secondary pitch in AAA and give one of those three a chance in the bigs.   Such a move would also allow the Royals to stagger the experience of their future bullpen so they don’t suddenly find themselves relying on three rookies in the middle innings or, in the alternative, spending money on a veteran middle guy because they don’t want to rely on three rookies in 2011.

Onto the curiosity of the afternoon.   Ned Yost played Yuniesky Betancourt for the tenth consecutive game since coming out of the All-Star Break, while sitting Billy Butler and resting Mike Aviles on Saturday.   In doing so, he managed to basically play three of his four infielders out of position.   Now, Wilson Betemit is fine at first if you want to give Butler a rest, but why not Getz at second (his natural position) and Aviles at third (given that Mike has not played his natural position of shortstop more than a handful of games as it is)?     Just me being critical, I’m sure.

Okay, if you get all agitated about trade rumors and the fact that most never come true, then stop reading now.  

MLBTradeRumors had some juicy morsels this weekend starting with the Royals interest in Jeff Francouer.    That then expanded into a crazy jumble of Mets-Royals potential dealings that I am simply calling ‘five guys I hate and Gil Meche’.   In some combination, the Mets were reportedly discussing Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and Francouer while the Royals were talking about Jose Guillen, Kyle Farnsworth and Gil Meche.      Some of the commenters over at Royals Review were trying to make some sense of how all that might work out, but I decided to just start drinking instead.

Also out in the wind is some Zack Greinke to Tampa talk.    If you look at the haul that the THREE Cliff Lee deals and the Roy Halladay deal generated (not to mention Erik Bedard a few years back), then this gets interesting.  However, the rather modest bounty paid by the Angels for Dan Haren certainly put a damper on any speculation that this is something the Royals should pursue.

Another nugget that has been rumbling around put got some more juice early this morning was Jon Heyman’s note that the Yankees made a ‘major proposal’ in an attempt to nab Joakim Soria.   I don’t know what to make of this other than New York’s top prospects are mostly all catchers (if you are willing to believe Jesus Montero can actually stick there) or pitchers who certainly would not crack the top five in the Royals’ system.     

Speaking as a guy who has written a trade Soria column or two in the recent past, it would seem to me that the Yankees would have to offer someone off their current major league roster in addition to Montero or Romine, plus an arm for this deal to make sense to the Royals.   That is a hefty price to pay for a closer, even one as good as Joakim Soria.

Without question, this will be a wild week of speculation and rumors.   It will be interesting to see what actually ends up happening by Saturday.

Ouch!

12 comments

Looks like I was correct on the trade value of David DeJesus.  He’s not going anywhere after running into the center field wall chasing after Derek Jeter’s deep fly ball.  He led with his right (glove) wrist and it bent back as it met the wall.

You could tell immediately that he injured himself on the play.  Post-game, it was revealed that while X-rays were negative, he suffered a “severe thumb sprain.”  Bob Dutton tweeted late Thursday that DeJesus was off to see a hand specialist in Cleveland and “might be out awhile.”

Perfect.

UPDATE: DeJesus to the 15 day DL and Alex Gordon called up from Omaha.  OK… We have arrived at the most recent test for Royals management.  Gordon must – MUST – play everyday for the rest of the season.

So now we get an outfield of Scotty Pods, Rick Ankiel and Mitch Maier?

Even though Alberto Callaspo was moved earlier in the evening, I still thought dealing DeJesus was a long shot.   I figured the Royals would overvalue him, ask for too much and ultimately fail to make a trade.

What really hurts is with DeJesus out of the lineup, (and Callaspo to a lesser extent) we’re edging closer to the suckfest of 2008 without gaining any upside.  Hopefully, DeJesus’ injury isn’t serious (although that sounds unlikely) and he’ll return quickly.   Of course, there’s the requisite snark that the Royals waited too long to make the trade. Really?  First, who’s to say the Royals were offered what would be considered “fair” value for DeJesus?  Second, who the hell knew he was going to run into a wall a week before the deadline?  Things like this happen (yes, more to the Royals it seems than anyone else) so you just move on.  It makes this winter interesting as the Royals hold the option for DeJesus for 2011 at $6 million.  He was on the road to becoming a Type A player, so if the Royals had declined the option, it’s possible they could have collected draft picks.  He was a borderline “A,” so it will be interesting to see how he’s rated if he misses an extended period of time.

Maybe the Royals will use this opportunity to recall Alex Gordon.  Or Kila Ka’ahuie.  Or both.  This is the perfect time: Bring up Gordon when DeJesus hits the DL and play him in the outfield.  While you’re busy making moves, dump Guillen and bring up Kila.  (Although if that happens, it will be in August when the Royals place Guillen on waivers.  If some team claims him, he’s gone.  If no one is dumb enough to do that, hopefully they cut him once he clears.) That’s about the only thing that can improve the current situation.

Only the Royals.

Meanwhile, some of you are wondering why the Royals recalled Ankiel and not Gordon when it came time to make a move to replace Callaspo on the roster.  It’s simple: Ankiel was on a minor league rehab assignment so the Royals had to recall him.  Rehab assignments are based on time and time was running out.  He can’t stay in the minors because he’s out of options.

Of course, the Royals could just cut him and eat his $2.75 salary. Like that would happen.

Nope… He’s back and he’s going to play.

Episode #026 – Nick discusses the Callaspo trade, why on earth Rick Ankiel is back on the team, would it matter if Yost is gone after the season and what keeps you interested in Royals games?

:http://www.livekc.com/podcasts/bbs026.mp3|titles=BBS

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