Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gil Meche to the Royals

5 years/$55 million. Let's get this out of the way: the Royals way overpaid. No if's, and's or but's. But this is our "statement". Would I have chosen this? No. But here we are. I'm actually excited. It's December: we can look at Meche and see what we want to see. Let's look at the good and bad of this move:

The Bad:
Let's start with the negative:

Meche has had major shoulder problems

In the 4 years since his shoulder surgery, he's never had an OPS+ of over 100 (average)

He had a 5.14 ERA and 1.60 WHIP on the road last year

He's never pitched more than 200 innings

The Royals gave more money to Meche than Jason Schmidt got. Almost as much as Chris Carpenter got.

The Good:

Meche is only 28--pretty young for a FA pitcher.

Meche's raw stuff is very good.

Meche's innings pitched have increased each of the past 3 years as he's gotten stronger from his shoulder problems

His strikeout rate spiked last year and he K'ed over 7/9ip-a promising sign for future results.

Meche had a bad 5 game stretch at the end of July/beginning of August. Take out that stretch and his numbers are:
170ip 151h 64w 139k 3.76 ERA 1.26 WHIP.
3 of those starts were on the road (including a horrific start in Texas where he only pitched 1 inning). He skipped a start after that stretch and pitched better the rest of the season. There are probably a lot of average pitchers who could take a 5 game stretch and look a lot better.

Dayton Moore knows all this stuff. He was willing to pony up David Glass's money anyway. Perhaps he believes that with the right coaching Meche will turn into a sub 4.00 ERA pitcher. We will have to way 4 months to find out.

I think we may very well look back at this move as the defining moment of Dayton's era. It could be the day we rue as when we trapped ourself into an awful contract because we were desperate. Or it could be the bold stroke that pushes the Royals out of being known as a punching bag in baseball--the day the Royals became winners again. Today we are left to wonder and hope. And right now hope seems worth $55 million.


At 12:36 AM, Blogger SoonerRoyal said...

Wow, Dayton Moore certainly knows how to make a splash. I agree we overpaid bigtime and it's a huge risk---but it's a start and like you said, it gives us hope. It shows that Mr. Glass isn't holding Moore back, he's free to do whatever he chooses. Hopefully, his shoulder problems are behind him. At least the Royals signed a pitcher with a track record as a league-average pitcher who is entering the prime of his career. He also has some upside, so if perhaps with some new coaching he'll improve.


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