Saturday, December 16, 2006

Recent Moves

I had been meaning to run down the Royals other recent acquisitions-and then the Sisco-Gload trade goes does this afternoon. So I will get to that after I cover the other moves.

Burgos for Bannister

I really didn’t like this trade at first but I’ve warmed up to it a little but overall it is still not a move I would have made. Burgos was mishandled but still has got great stuff and very intriguing potential for any team patient enough to keep him in the minors for another year or so to let him learn to pitch.

Bannister is a decent pitcher. He’s rather old for a prospect. I’ve had an infatuation with Scott Baker for a long time and the more I looked at their numbers, the more I saw them as similar. Too much has been made over Bannister’s 38 ip last year. Some of his advocates point to his decent ERA in that time, his detractors point to his bad BB/K ratio. Historically his BB/K ratio has been good, his WHIP and ERA are also pretty good. Of course, his stuff is not stellar so it will be his ability to change speeds and hit his spots that will determine if he can be a reasonable back of the rotation starter. I think he will be given every opportunity to start this year and would expect an ERA of about 5.00 with the big club.

Octavio Dotel

We have our proven closer. Dotel for $5 million + another $2 in incentives. A smart move—Dotel has been a strikeout machine in the past and if he is healthy could be one of the better closers in the AL. He could also be a very valuable trading chip come July (assuming the Royals are not on some miraculous run). One note for concern is that Dotel’s numbers have for the past few years looked a lot better than his actual ERA. Regardless, it’s a good move and the only way the Royals could screw it up is to get a few good months of Dotel and then sign him to a lucrative extension. Hopefully, he’s just keeping the seat warm until someone like Ryan Braun or Leo Nunez are ready.

John Bale

Who? Was my first thought, but the guy had very good stats in Japan. 2 yrs @ $2 million per. I like this gamble, again this guy has got some good stuff and might be more than just a lefty specialist. The Royals scouting may have paid off with this little diamond in the rough.

Joakim Soria

Our Rule V pick has gotten a lot of press due to his perfect game last week in the Mexican League. There is a lot to like here. Translating numbers from the Mexican League is tricky, but it considered most of the time about AAA. Also considered an extreme hitters league. Soriah is 9-0, with a 1.77ERA, 71.1ip, 46h, 8hr, 19w 73k. Those are very impressive numbers. I think this guy could actually contribute this year. He’s got 3 pitches and should be a long relief guy and perhaps get a spot start.

Sisco for Gload

I don’t get it. I really don’t. Perhaps it has something to do with a report by Rany at Baseball Prospectus that reported that Sisco was in the food court getting a taco during a recent game. Sisco was dismissed from the team. I certainly think Sisco chances of becoming an abover average pitcher are not above 50%. I don’t mind trading Sisco, but was Ross Gload the best we could do? He’s not a bad player, just not exactly what we need. He's a left handed hitter who can play OF and 1st. (perhaps those rumors about us trying to get Ryan Church were not so off base--would Jim Bowden really not take Sisco for Church? That would have been a much happier move for me). Of course, the obvious is that this is the precursor of what could be several moves involving: Emil Brown, Justin Huber, Reggie Sanders, and less likely Mike Sweeney or Ryan Shealy. The only way this trade is redeemed is if the follow up is a good deal and not a “dump”. I must say I’m scared to death that we are going to get not very good value for Justin Huber.

So, we've dumped Affelt, Bautista, Howell, MacDougal, Burgos, and now Sisco. Some of those trades look good to me (Shealy) others leave me with big questions (Burgos and Sisco). I don't quite get Dayton's M.O.. He dumps crafty left hander (Howell) but picks up crafty righthander (Bannister). He dumps underachieving power arms (Bautista, Sisco) and picks up another (De La Rosa). It will be interesting to see what comes of these moves and what is in store. One thing you cannot do is complain about this offseason being boring.


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