Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Final July Trades

Royals' GM Dayton Moore finished off the July trading frenzy with two more deals on Monday. The Royals traded Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista to Colorado for first basemen Ryan Shealy and pitcher Scott Dohmann. In a smaller deal, the Royals traded Matt Stairs to the Rangers for RHP Jose Diaz.

First basemen Ryan Shealy had been coveted by Dayton Moore and many Royals fans. Shealy has put up good numbers with 15 HRs in 222 ABs and a .284/.351/.568 line overall. Shealy is turning 27 this month, so he's no youngster. In 2005, Shealy had 26 homers hit .328 at AAA. In 2004, he had 29 homers and hit .318 at AA. He was on pace for another 25-30 HR season, so he's shown steady power throughout his career. He's been blocked by Todd Helton in Colorado, so he hasn't seen much big league action. He's made the most of his limited opportunities, hitting .320/.398/.470 in his first 100 major league at-bats. So, hopefully that's a sign of things to come.

His right-handed bat adds to the surplus of righties at the 1B and DH position with Sweeney, Huber, and Butler projected to hold those spots down next year and beyond. Shealy will join the big league club and get a significant number of at-bats for the rest of the season. With Huber, Shealy, and Butler, the Royals should have enough good bats to fill out the 1B and DH positions.

Scott Dohmann isn't young either. The 28-year-old righty has a 6.20 ERA in 24 2/3 innings with 15 walks and 22 strikeouts. Dohmann is averaging over 1 strikeout per inning throughout his career, but the walks and home runs have hurt him. He throws 92-94 mph and has a good slider, so he's a good candidate for a setup role if he can improve his command. I hope Moore saw something in Dohmann, because you usually don't trade for 28-year-old relievers who haven't figured out how to throw strikes.

Jose Diaz will also add some bullpen depth. Diaz has pitched very well of late and has struck out 75 in the last 62 2/3 innings.

The Shealy deal looks alright to me. The Royals have a pretty good offensive core already developing and this solidifies the 1B/DH position even further. Dohmann doesn't have much upside, but might be a useful middle reliever. He's basically a throw-in. Denny Bautista has a lot of upside, but for every 100 Bautistas, 15 will become good setup men and 5 will become frontline starters. Like Affeldt, I'm convinced Bautista wouldn't ever become anything in a Royals' uniform. Both needed a change of scene badly.

In the next few days, I'll redo the Royals' top prospect list. The Royals' pitching depth has improved remarkably over the season with the emergence of the Burlington Bees' stout rotation and Moore's moves in July.


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