The Royals are trying to trade Jose Guillen.
Sure, the rumors are currently swirling around a far better player with a chance to still be a valuable contributor when the Royals might contend in a year or two: David DeJesus. It makes sense to test the market, given DeJesus’ contract status and potential value right now. However, here is a quote from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe via MLBTradeRumors with regard to this:
“The Red Sox, Yankees and Padres are possible bidders, but the Royals are asking for more in return than is acceptable to suitors.”
Again, DeJesus has always been an ‘average-plus’ player who happens to be having the best season of his career. While he is beginning to cost the Royals real money (in baseball terms), his contract is not so onerous that it demands a trade at all costs. The Royals should be asking for a lot, not only because DeJesus has actual value, but because is might just trigger a team to move onto cheaper alternatives in the outfield.
Of course, all of us who follow the Royals would pretty much fall all over ourselves to trade any outfielder not named David and while the front office is probably not quite as eager, they are certainly willing to talk. Que the Jose Guillen hype machine, a.k.a Ned Yost, via the Kansas City Star:
“You watch him play out there and it is a legitimate comparision to any other right fielder out there. There’s no difference. I’m going to start playing him more when we get home in the outfield. He’s proven to me he can do it.”
In other words, ‘attention National League, Jose Guillen can still play in the outfield’.
Come mid-July, Guillen is going to be owed something less than six million dollars and has no real future with the Kansas City Royals. Whether Dayton Moore is ever willing to give Kila Kaaihue a chance or not, nowhere in his ‘things to do so we can have a parade in the Plaza’ notebook is there anything about having a 35 year old Jose Guillen being the Royals’ designated hitter (or right fielder) in 2011.
Given the preceding paragraph, there is absolutely no reason NOT to trade Jose Guillen. Start the conversation with David DeJesus and when your demands for one of the opposing club’s best position player prospects, plus a major league ready bullpen arm with upside, prove to be too much, switch the conversation to Guillen. Sure, we will kick in a fair portion of his remaining salary and sure, we will be happy to accept one of your failed prospects in need of a change of scenery in return.
It all seems quite logical, doesn’t it?
It won’t happen.
Dayton Moore will not let it happen unless he ‘gets value in return’. We need look no further than Ron Mahay to know that.
There were offers out there last summer for Ron Mahay. Not good offers, not even close to good offers, but offers nonetheless. Moore’s comment at the time was something along the lines of ‘we are not going to trade just to trade – we have to get value for value’. Many in our writing community echoed the sentiments with a ‘what’s the point?’ sort of argument. I don’t buy it.
Ron Mahay was an aging veteran in the last half-season of his contract on a team going nowhere. I don’t care if the return was something along the lines of Anthony Seratelli or Ed Lucas (sorry guys, you are good organizational soldiers, but you know what I mean), you make the deal. Once in a great while, players like that turn into Mike Aviles. If nothing else, we would have gotten a better look at a Dusty Hughes, Victor Marte or the like and found out it in late 2009 what it took two months (and exposure to Bryan Bullington, Luis Mendoza and Roman Colon) in 2010 to realize.
The casual fan may view trades of veterans for marginal return as business as usual for the Royals. They will grumble and moan, but it won’t effect whether they show up in August or not. It sure as heck won’t matter if Kansas City is in first place on June 1, 2012.
It is not a fire sale, nor is it an admittance of failure by the general manager, to dump veterans for less than what you perceive to be their value, in order to free up playing time for younger players you simply need to figure out. A fire sale would be giving up on Alex Gordon and trading David DeJesus for a 27 year old AA first baseman. Smart trading with an eye towards the future and, dare we say it, THE PROCESS, includes moving Guillen for something and likely doing the same with Scott Podsednik (given Rick Ankiel’s ability to destroy whatever trade value he may have once had). You can throw Willie Bloomquist in there, too.
You see, the Royals have Gordon to replace Podsednik, Kaaihue to replace Guillen and Irving Falu to take Bloomquist’s role. It is possible that all three may fail badly in the majors and the Royals finish in fifth place instead of fourth. At least, we will all know at that point.
Make the moves, Mr. Moore. Stop trying to prove to us that you are the smartest kid on the block. If you want us to trust the process, than you have to trust it yourself.