Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trade Deadline Blowout!

I’m in Boston at the moment for a dermatology conference, with family in tow – which meant a couple of days vacationing on Cape Cod beforehand. So here’s my quick summary of everything that’s happened in the past week; my work is made easier by the fact that other people have done some of the work for me.

- Not even the Red Sox are immune to my home team curse, which dooms the home team to defeat anytime I’m in attendance at the stadium (unless they are playing the Royals, of course.) The White Sox are something like 9-1 against KC in my trips to U.S. Cellular Field, but are 1-5 or so when playing other teams. I made my first trip to Fenway Park on Tuesday night, and for eight innings the Sox handled everything I threw at them – they put up a 5-spot in the third inning and countered every A’s rally with one of their own.

But the ninth inning was something out of the 1999 Royals’ playbook; with two out and a man on third, Jonathan Papelbon gave up a double to Tommy Everidge (Everidge’s first major league hit), then an infield single to Mark Ellis on an 0-2 count; Nick Green threw the ball away, allowing Ellis to take second; Ellis stole third; and Ellis scored the tying run on another infield single. The 11th inning was just denouement; the A’s put together a two-run rally with two outs and another 0-2 count to Ellis, and while the Sox pushed across a run in the bottom of the inning, Dustin Pedroia’s bid for a two-out walkoff homer came up short of the Green Monster. Needless to say, I felt at home.

(Although in my defense, the person most at fault for the team’s collapse was the guy in my section who got a wave started in the 7th inning – along with the thousands of people who succeeded in getting the wave to go around the stadium three times. The Wave. At Fenway Park. It’s almost like they want the team to spend another 86 years in the desert.)

- Back to the Royals…Luke Hochevar takes the mound this afternoon, and we’re all anxious to see how he’s going to follow up a start in which he struck out 13 batters – the most by a Royals pitcher since Kevin Appier on August 29, 1996 – while walking no one. My take on this is pretty much what Joe Posnanski wrote here. A 13-K, 0-BB start doesn’t quite meet the standard of signature significance; as I wrote once before, the exact same combination had me believing that Jason Bere was a future star once upon a time. But to have a 13-K, 0-BB start barely a month after throwing a complete game in 80 pitches? The former approaches the standard of signature significance for a power pitcher, the latter for a groundball pitcher. To accomplish both in the same season might be unprecedented – maybe Greg Maddux has done it, I dunno.

I really have no idea what’s going on with Hochevar. In his first nine starts, covering 51 innings, he had 19 walks and 21 strikeouts. In his last three starts, covering 19 innings, he has 1 walk and 27 strikeouts. But in his first nine starts he surrendered 97 groundballs and 78 flyballs; in his last three starts, he has surrendered just 18 groundballs and 32 flyballs. Hochevar’s groundball/flyball ratio has never been as high in the majors as it was in the minor leagues; prior to this season he was just a modest groundball pitcher at most. But in his last three starts he has become an entirely different animal, a power/flyball guy in the mold of a Zack Greinke. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s just…weird.

Hochevar’s career has long been a source of mystery for me. I included him on my list of “23 Reasons I’m Excited To Be A Royals Fan” under the title “The Enigma” – and that was nearly two years ago. So I don’t profess to know where his career is headed next. But I’m more optimistic about his future prospects than I have been in a long time.

And on a tangential note – can we dispense with the whole “the Royals should have drafted Tim Lincecum” meme please? NO ONE thought, on draft day, 2006, that Tim Lincecum was the #1 player in the draft. It turns out that everyone was wrong – but it’s silly to hold the Royals to a higher standard than the other 29 teams out there. Remember, Lincecum didn’t go 2nd or 3rd or 5th – he went tenth in the draft that year. The guy who was the consensus #1 player in the draft was Andrew Miller, who has a 5.50 career ERA and 143 walks in 258 innings. Virtually all baseball people would take Hochevar over Miller in a heartbeat right now. The Royals didn’t screw up by taking Hochevar. On the contrary, they made a bold move, one that appears to be the correct one.

(And while we’re quashing memes, can we also dispense with the idea that Dayton Moore deserves credit for drafting him? Sorry, Dayton, but after telling us for the last three years that you had no input in that draft, you can’t suddenly change course and take credit for Hochevar. That was Deric Ladnier’s work. Hochevar, like roughly two-thirds of the good players on your roster, was someone you inherited, not someone you acquired.)

- While Hochevar seems to be undergoing a transition from groundball pitcher to power/flyball pitcher, Brian Bannister has done the complete opposite. And in his case, we know it’s deliberate, because he’s told us.

I don’t normally urge you all to listen to the radio show after the fact, but if you haven’t listened to the clips of Bannister on last week’s show, please do so. Or just listen to the clips by themselves, which you can also access by that link. We’ve long known that Bannister is one of the smartest guys in baseball, maybe the smartest when it comes to applying sabermetric principles to making him a better player on the field. But I don’t think any of us appreciated just how important sabermetrics has been to his success.

Partly, that’s because until this season, he really hadn’t been all that successful, at least not in what would be considered a sustainable way. In 2007, he rode a fluky performance on balls in play to a 3.87 ERA, but his peripherals were unimpressive – he struck out just 4.2 batters per nine innings, and unless you’re an extreme groundball pitcher you can’t survive at that level. To his credit, Bannister recognized the unsustainability of his performance, and endeavored to get more strikeouts last year. It worked – his K rate jumped to 5.6 per nine innings – but his home run rate nearly doubled, and along with regression in his BABIP performance, his ERA jumped nearly two runs.

Which brings us to 2009, and after a terrible performance in spring training and in his first minor league start, he decided to junk the fastball that got him to the majors, switch to his “no-seam” cut fastball, and begin the transformation to a groundball pitcher. And what amazes me most about the clip above is that everything he talks about his borne out in the numbers. His fastball this year really has lost a tick of velocity, but gained a ton of sink. His groundball ratio really has jumped, from just 37.5% last year to 49.6% this year. And in the process, he has figured out a way to meld the two approaches, keeping his strikeout rate (5.6 per 9) from last year, while keeping his home run rate (0.9 per 9) from 2007.

He is every bit as successful a pitcher this year as he was two years ago, only this time there’s nothing in his numbers to suggest it’s a fluke. Bannister has gone from #7 on the Royals’ depth chart in March to their #2 starter today, and there’s every indication he will continue to be a slightly above-average major league starter for the foreseeable future. (For a more in-depth analysis of Bannister’s comments and how they correspond to his performance this year, I recommend these two articles.)

After Bannister’s rookie season, I wrote of him, “while I’m a little leery of Bannister in the short term, I’m confident that he can make the adjustments to continue being an above-average starting pitcher in the long term.” You have to understand, I make predictions like this all the time, and future events almost always prove me to have been overly optimistic. The fact that I nailed it this one time is testament to Bannister more than me. There’s no Royal that I love more than Zack Greinke, but there’s no Royal that I’m prouder of than Bannister, and there hasn’t been since Dan Quisenberry left.

Naturally, this makes me terrified that he’ll be in another uniform 24 hours from now.

In Bill James, the Royals had a fan living in their own backyard who unlocked the secrets of baseball analysis a generation before they went mainstream. In Joe Posnanski, the Royals had the first nationally-acclaimed sports columnist who had a thorough grounding in sabermetrics working for the local paper. In Brian Bannister, the Royals have on their own roster the first major league player who has used sabermetrics to comprehend, and advance, his own career. The Royals have been blessed, through sheer serendipity, with three trailblazers on the path towards baseball enlightenment. They ignored the first one until he got fed up and decided to help the Red Sox win a title or two, and they’re doing their best to ignore the second one. I have no optimism that they’ll listen to Bannister any more than they listened to the first two, but maybe the fact that he wears cleats and stirrups to work means that they’ll keep an open mind. Or, you know, maybe they’ll just trade him.

- Speaking of the trade deadline: it is tomorrow at 3 PM, and tonight’s radio show is a special two-hour affair devoted to all the possible moves, so be sure to tune in. The Royals are not cooperating, as they appear to be content with holding pat. Maybe this is a good thing, given that the last time the Royals made a trade, they were the ones giving up the prospects. And in fairness, the meltdown of the bullpen has limited their options, as most of the players they have who are not part of the future are also not part of anyone’s present. Still, let’s take a look at what they could – or should – do:

Juan Cruz: You could list the other five middle relievers on the roster here as well, but unless some team wants to improve their draft position for next year, I suspect the demand will be light. Cruz, by virtue of his performance in the NL before signing with the Royals, might – might – draw some interest. Going into the All-Star Break, I thought that with a strong finish to July, that Cruz might be a useful chip for a team that felt he could return to his old form in the inferior league. That, ahem, has not happened. Cruz has appeared in five games since the Break, has given up at least two runs in all of them, and in three innings of work has allowed 11 hits and 14 runs. You almost have to hope that he’s hurt, because that’s one of the worst stretches of relief work I’ve ever seen. At this point, if the Royals can get out from under his contract, they should trade him for a token non-prospect. He’s owed more than $4 million between now and the end of next year, and as noble as it appeared before the season, the Juan Cruz Experiment has not worked out in Kansas City.

(By the way, I love this line from an anonymous Royals official: “It’s like other teams think we’re going to give guys away for nothing.” You think? For the money most of your guys are earning, you ought to be thankful if you can give them away.)

Willie Bloomquist: The Spork has been impressive this year, no question; his .278/.324/.383 line, his speed, his defensive versatility are all assets, and his price tag ($1.5 million per) is not prohibitive. I think it’s interesting that Bloomquist, who was the only hitter Moore has acquired in the last year or two with some idea of the strike zone, is also the only one of them who seems to have worked well with Kevin Seitzer. Bloomquist has value, and the Royals shouldn’t trade him for just a marginal prospect. But if some team is willing to give up a blue-chipper or a guy with intriguing upside, you have to do that deal. The idea of contending in 2010 is looking more and more delusional, so anyone who’s not under contract past 2010 has to be put in the display case.

Brian Bannister: The Brewers supposedly have interest, but Bannister is under contract through 2012, and you don’t give away three-plus years of a quality major league starter without getting some serious coin in exchange. There’s a trade here that could work – Bannister for Alcides Escobar, who’s very young, developing as a hitter, and one of the finest defensive shortstops in the minors. But that would require Moore to acknowledge that the Yuniesky Betancourt trade was a clusterf**k in every way imaginable, and something tells me he isn’t ready to do that.

(On the subject of Betancourt: it’s way too early to evaluate his performance – if he were 15-for-42 instead of 5-for-42, I’d be shouting “SMALL SAMPLE SIZE!” from the rooftops, and it’s not fair to ignore that issue just because he’s sucking at a Penaesque level. But man, even I thought that he would show some short-term improvement just from having a change of scenery. I never thought that the Betancourt acquisition would end well, but if he keeps hitting like this, at least it might end soon.)

Mark Teahen/David DeJesus: Both guys have value, and both guys might be more valuable as a secondary cog on a contender than as middle-of-the-order types for the Royals. Teahen, in particular, has more value at third base than anywhere else, and now that he’s been relegated to right field, he’s almost certainly worth less to the Royals than he would be to some other team. But neither seems to be attracting a ton of interest, and the Royals have no reason to sell them for less than their true worth. It’s not like either player is blocking a prospect from getting into the lineup, and both players are still under contract for two more seasons. If the Royals don’t get what they want for them this year, they can always do this dance again next July. I don’t expect them to get traded, and that’s probably for the best.

Miguel Olivo: Now that Brayan Pena has been working his way up to first-string status, a move I heartily endorse by the way, the Olivo/Buck combination looks even more ridiculous than it did the last two winters. Olivo has had his hot stretches this year, which disguises that his OPS+ is actually lower than Buck’s (89 to 90). Eight walks in half a season will do that to you. Olivo isn’t going to fetch much, but a grade C prospect would be worth it, if only to keep the Royals from the temptation of bringing him back again next year. I’d rather have Buck, if only because the Royals can probably release him this winter and re-sign him at a much better salary (say, $1 million with incentives). A Buck/Pena quasi-platoon would give you slightly below-average production at a fair price. All Olivo does is make the Royals think they have a solution at a position when they really don’t.

Alberto Callaspo: Finally, here’s the bold move I’d love to see the Royals make: trading Callaspo for a comparable young player, preferably a centerfielder. Callaspo has a blend of obvious strengths and weaknesses; he’s a hell of a hitter for a second baseman (.305/.354/.463), but beyond awful defensively. There’s no reason to think his offense is a fluke; if anything, given his 28 doubles in just 348 at-bats, there’s reason to think he’s starting to develop power (a notion bolstered by the fact that after going homerless in the first 400-plus at-bats in his career, he has seven homers this year.) You don’t think the Twins, who are just two games out of first despite the fact that their second basemen have hit a combined .187/.278/.236 (!) this year, would want Callaspo? (Fun fact: the Twins are the only team the Royals have never made a trade with.)

The problem with Callaspo is that his defense, while bad enough on its own, is just one of many sub-par gloves on the Royals. A stronger defensive team could weather one iron glove in their infield; with the Royals, their entire infield is one big sieve, and they need to find a way to repair that if they want to entertain any hope of contending in the near future.

The decision to move Callaspo is made easier by the fact that Jeff Bianchi has been the breakout star of the farm system, and might be ready for an audition as soon as September. I still think Bianchi should be given a shot at shortstop, but until the Royals give up on Betancourt that option appears to be out. (And if Bianchi slides across the keystone, Johnny Giavotella may soon be ready to take over at second.)

And looking long-term, Callaspo’s defense isn’t going to suddenly improve over time. A shortstop that loses range can move to second base or third base; a second baseman who loses range can only move to first base. That’s enough to end the career of many a second baseman – Ruben Gotay, anyone? Callaspo’s bat will keep him in the majors even if he has to move to first, but as what? The new Ross Gload?

So if the Royals want to be bold, if they want to sacrifice some offense in the short-term in exchange for a defensive upgrade at two positions, they really ought to explore the market for Callaspo. I really do think the Twins would make the perfect trade partner. Maybe you take a chance on Carlos Gomez, who hasn’t hit at all, but is just 23 and does play excellent defense in center. Maybe you take a flyer on Delmon Young and move DeJesus back to center. Maybe you settle for a prospect – especially if you can pry someone like Ben Revere away from them.

But in the midst of one of the most dreadful seasons I’ve ever witnessed, the Royals need to do something bold. (And unlike their last “bold” move, something smart.) Trading Callaspo when his trade value will never be higher, when you’ve got replacements in the minors who are almost ready, when he might fetch you a long-term solution at another position, certainly qualifies. The Royals have 24 hours to get cracking.

56 comments:

Fast Eddie said...

Royals acquire "speedy" Josh Anderson (who had been DFA) from Tigers for cash. When I saw "speedy", I knew he was another no walk, no power guy. I looked at the stats at Baseball Reference and I am right. I don't know why the Yankees would have been about to move on him. Teahen not in the lineup today and this move may mean Teahen will be traded later today.

Roy in Omaha said...

Rany, I think Teahen and DeJesus ARE blocking the way of a prospect in the outfield. That guy is Jordan Parraz.He was just promoted to Omaha the other day from Arkansas where his line was .358/.451/.553 (and 1.005 OPS!!!). He's only 24. He has a career minor league OBP of .381! He has been playing right field. You can't tell me that this guy would not hit at least as well, if not better than Guillen and ,perhaps any of the other collection of crud we have in the outfield. I sure wanna see the Royals take that .381 OBP out for a spin to see what it can do. Are you watching this guy? He looks like a player to me

Peter said...

"Hochevar, like roughly two-thirds of the good players on your roster, was someone you inherited, not someone you acquired."

So Dayton inherited 2 good players?

Anonymous said...

Rany, I posted this on the last article just before you published this one but I wanted to get your take on whether you have any clever nicknames for Trey Hillman (other than Wyatt Earp). After his handling of the blowpen last night, the best thing I could come up with was Trey Killwins. Care to add your favorite?

Anonymous said...

I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure the Twins would laugh heartily at the prospect of trading Gomez or Revere for Callaspo, even straight up.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Josh Anderson becomes a slight upgrade in the Mitch Maier department, with Mitch back down to AAA to remake the unholy trinity of Maier, Lubanski, and Costa, three more high round draft picks doomed to never contribute to the Royals OF.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on trading Callaspo. Sell high on that guy. His defense is horrible and I cringe when the ball is hit to him. It's kind of like Gary in right field on my Little League team. You were scared out of your mind when the ball went out there and every time he caught it you let out a huge sigh of relief. If we could get any of those guys from the Twins I'd be in. I don't see them trading within the division though.

Anonymous said...

From the Star, Hillman on pitching Chen instead of Davies:

-----------------
“We’re going stay in order with Chen,” Hillman said. “A lefty against Tampa Bay is a better matchup. They’re not as stealth (against lefties) -- they’re still pretty good; everybody knows that.

“We’ll give Bruce another shot at it. He monitored the damage OK here. He obviously still needs to locate better and keep the ball in the ballpark.”

Chen is 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA but avoided a loss Monday for the first time in six starts when he allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings against the Orioles. He got a no-decision when the Royals rallied for a 5-3 victory.

Davies is scheduled to pitch tonight for Omaha, where he is 4-2 with a 2.06 ERA in seven starts since losing his job in the big-league rotation. He is scheduled to start Friday against Iowa.

“Statistics between there and here can, sometimes, be misleading,” Hillman said. “He has improved, but we still want to see him command the fastball better.”

------------------

Those pesky statistics, with all their facts, figures, and decimal points!

Anonymous said...

I think baseball scouts, like most people, are visual. Those numbers seem abstract, and involve math(!) and spreadsheets, but silky smooth arm action that you can see with your own two eyes, well, some people are more comfortable with that.

So, Rany, here's my idea: you need to invest in some enormous posterboard pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs, pictographs (for Trey and Dayton), the whole works... to visualize some of these ideas. You know, like you're on the floor of the Congress trying to show everyone on CSPAN just how big the deficit/debt/recession is, or like you're Ross Perot in prime time! Then people will take notice, because there are pictures. Pictures are what is missing from your analysis...

See, Replacement level is THIS HIGH, Betancourt is only this high. League Average OBP is THIS HIGH, everyone you've ever signed is only this high.

Mark said...

I agree wholeheartedly with this article. The move that came out about the same time as this post was Josh Anderson, a move I am pleased with. I have heard some complaints and how he has no plate discipline and poor baserunning skills, but he was free and was a high prospect a very short time ago. I also think Callaspo trade would be very prudent, I love Alberto and the fact he's one of 4 MLB quality hitters we have, but we do have some very capable prospects on the way. Bianchi has looked good here in NWA and I think he beats out Betancourt in Spring of next year if he is forced into 2B this year.

Anonymous said...

I think the idea that the Brewers would trade Escobar for Bannister to be rather optimistic. Escobar is a fantastic prospect, broad based skills now that can project.

Anonymous said...

I agree whole heartedly Rany, and I wrote something about what the Royals SHOULD HAVE DONE (I personally think it is too late to do anything significant at this deadline) a few hours before you wrote thei over @ Royals Review...

http://www.royalsreview.com/2009/7/29/968613/shouldnt-we-be-doing-what-the

Anonymous said...

I love Banny and hope he stays in KC, but for Escobar? He is one of the TOP prospects (higher than Moustakas) in baseball at a tough position. It would cost more than Bannister to get him, especially since the Brewers don't have much solid at SS now. If we threw in Moustakas and tried to get another P from them, the trade would be evened out.

The idea of a Callaspo for Gomez trade is pretty solid.

Then again, none of these will happen. Heck, we just took Josh Anderson for cash.

Dave said...

No way they give up Escobar for Bannister. He was deemed off limits when they were exploring a deal for Halladay. If they wouldn't let him go in a package for a Cy Young winner, they aren't shipping him out for Brian freaking Bannister.

Dave said...

By the way, I like the Anderson pick up. It doesn't cost us anything and he had great numbers in AAA last year. I think he was even the player of the year. At least he takes Maier or Freel's place on the roster, which is an upgrade. Sure am glad we gave up a PTBNL for Freel.....

boboyoung said...

Rany, I remember somebody who was calling for the Royals to draft Lincecum.

It was you. In fact, everytime I think of Lincecum I think of Rany because you were pushing so hard for the Royals to draft him #1.

http://www.robneyer.com/robrany.html

Here's some selected quotes from a year after that draft:

But the problem is that he was the #1 pick, and that the Royals should have taken Andrew Miller or Tim Lincecum. And no, that's not hindsight. That's what people were saying at the time


The flip side is that when a team, say, drafts a pitcher #1 overall because he looked better than ever in five starts in indy ball after sitting out a year, instead of either of two college juniors who had been dominant for the past two seasons ... well, that's how you convince yourself to take Luke Hochevar instead of Andrew Miller or Tim Lincecum.


As for Moustakas ... I really don't care. The Royals screwed the pooch last year by taking Hochevar, who a year later doesn't even rank among the Top 5 college pitchers in that draft (Andrew Miller, Tim Lincecum, Brandon Morrow, Joba Chamberlain, for starters).

Anonymous said...

What does this say about the Royals:

Another viable option, if the Royals actually had a middle infielder waiting to play in AAA, would be to keep Callaspo and DH him.

Stop laughing. He would actually be a huge upgrade at DH over Jacobs, despite not being what is perceived to be average for a DH.

Of course, this should have applied to Esteban German a couple of years back, and Jose Offerman before that - both would have been upgrades over the DHs at that time, but were played in the field instead, could hit, but fielded poorly enough to cancel out their hitting.

This organzation simply doesn't get it.

Ben said...

Andrew Miller and Brandon Morrow have been busts so far in their careers. You can play this shoulda woulda coulda game in every year of every draft in every sport. Lincecum didn't slide because of signability. He slid because nobody saw him dominating from the very beginning. I hate when people say "If only we would have drafted Player X, Y, and Z.....we'd have an all-star team!" Idiots.

Mills said...

"NO ONE thought, on draft day, 2006, that Tim Lincecum was the #1 player in the draft."
--------------
Wrong. I distinctly remember reading articles discussing who the Royals should pick No. 1. Miller was (as you pointed out) the widely recognized leader in the clubhouse, but all 3 were discussed as options. I would say that there was a better feeling about Timmy than Luke around most publications. Nobody doubted Tim's ability, just his durability.

Rany said...

I chose my words carefully. I didn't say that no one thought the Royals should take Lincecum #1 - I said that no one thought he was the #1 player in the draft. As I've said on a few occasions in the past, my colleague Kevin Goldstein thought that the Royals should take Lincecum - but more on the principle that he was not distinctly worse than Miller or Hochevar, and would sign far more cheaply and quickly.

I do think that if money were not an object - and it was - at least 16 out of 30 major league teams would have taken Miller #1. The Royals did not, and wound up with a pitcher who's better than Miller. That's not a coup, but my point is that it wasn't a mistake either.

Adam said...

Hey Rany a quick thought for you:

If you take a look at the supposed-proposed hauls for Halladay (Holland-Smoak-Borbon from TX; Happ & Drabek from PHI), if you were Dayton could you possibly consider trading Zack?

Reason being - my (and I believe most others') interpretation of the Royals org depth is that the best collection of talent right now is 18 & 19 years old, meaning a hopefully most-probable Royals push for the division is at earliest, three years away. You could argue the Royals need to be seriously taking a look at the team that is establishing itself in 2011 and hopefully playing .500 ball at the point that guys like Mous & Hosmer first arrive, and I have serious questions about the organizational depth to allow this team to have ANY established (replacement-level or above) major leaguers around that time. In that vein, executing a 3-for-1 isn't such a far-out idea for an organization that isn't nearly as close to breaking through as it thinks it is, in my opinion.

Carl Willingham said...

Gotta say I'm real sick of the Dayton Moore double talk. Between him and Hillman making up whatever is most self serving as they go along I'm pretty tired of the whole scene. To try to take "credit" for Hochevar after distancing himself from the pick gives us all a good insight into Moore's thinking and character. Literally the only thing he has accomplished of significance was getting Glass to pony up some money to sign some highly regared HS players in the draft and signing Meche. The rest of his moves have been uninspired to put it nicely. Having Hillman running your team after his showing the past two years is enough to be fired.

Andrew said...

Rany, may I humbly suggest that you start attending a LOT more Red Sox games? You could throw in 40-50 visits to Yankee Stadium every year while you're at it, too....

Dave said...

No.....the other option being talked about besides Miller was not Lincecum. It was Brad Lincoln who ended up going to Pittsburgh. He had all those Oswalt comparisons and ended up blowing out his arm and having surgery. His career isn't over but aren't you glad we didn't take him?

Clint said...

the Royals will never trade Callaspo now that you said they should.. you should have waited till after the deadline! sheesh..

RickMcKC said...

"Hochevar, like roughly two-thirds of the good players on your roster, was someone you inherited, not someone you acquired."

I re-read that article you linked to, Rany, and my sense was that the writer implied DM was responsible but DM did not say it himself.

Not trying to be snippy here, but can you produce a quote from DM where he takes credit for Hoch?

Grain of Salt said...

Ohhh Criminy! Russ Ortiz was released from the Astros. A six-pack of Boulevard Wheat says GMDM broke wood and will use said wood to sign him. Perhaps we should exchange "Royals" for "Braves Midwest?" Ahem, then our abbreviation would be "B.M." - which pretty much crystalizes our season. (insert toilet flush)

Grain of Salt said...

Found an old interview of GMDM by Sam Mellinger:
SM - You’ve said you make a point to read The Star everyday, which obviously we like. What else is on your list of daily reads?

GMDM - The Bible. I try to read the bible everyday.

SM - Favorite verse?

GMDM - Philippians 4:13. “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.” That’s probably my favorite.

Perhaps GMDM should brush up on Galatians 6:7-8: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Anonymous said...

if jesus cared about baseball, we wouldn't suck so badly.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying Jesus Christ can't hit a curve ball?

Paul J. said...

Re: Callaspo at DH, I am greatly in favor of that. DeJesus in LF, Anderson/Maier/Freel in CF, Teahen in RF, Bloomquist at 2B. That keeps Callaspo's offense in the lineup AND significantly upgrades the defense.

Anonymous said...

who wants to take bets that in 10+/- years time Bannister becomes the best pitching coach in the league...for some team other than KC.

Wabbitkiller said...

Rany,

None of the trades you propose will happen for one reason: They make too much sense. The Royals don't use common sense and logic, they go off of hunches. Surely yyou haven;t forgotten that Rany.

Wabbitkiller said...

I almost forgot to comment on THIS quote:

"But little is being offered in return. Without offering specifics, one Royals official said, “It’s like other teams think we’re going to give guys away for nothing.”

Gee Royals, why do you think people assume that you'll give away your talent for nothing? Maybe it has to do with the fact that you just gave away TWO prospects for some garbage (Yuni Betancourt). That MIGHT have something to do with it. Maybe giving Leo Nunez for Mike Jacobs might give other teams the impression that you're willing to part with talented players in exchange for GARBAGE. Gee, I can't see HOW other teams would get that impression! Memo to Royals execs: Are you really that freaking stupid?!?

Anonymous said...

I just want to see some movement. Trades for the sake of trades. Shuffle the deck a little and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Teahen to the Giants for 2 AAA prospects...

Yunieskiy Betancourt said...

How do ya like me now? You trade for me to replace Tony Pena Jr., and now I'm hitting just like he used to!

This is karmic retribution for protecting David Howard and giving Jeff Conine away. Your shortstops will forever be terrible!

YOU WILL NEVER ESCAPE THE CURSE OF DAVID HOWARD, ROYALS!!! HAHAHAHA!

JB said...

The problem in my opinion is that there's no obvious plan that doesn't conflict with everything GMDM has said before-why does it appear like he's trying for 2010 when everything we can see says it's time to sell off what little value he has?

The results speak for themselves:
http://grittyandclutch.blogspot.com/2009/08/actions-speak-louder-than-words-and.html

FAst Eddie said...

More like trade deadline blow off.

Chance said...

Did Ross Gload give his collection of pictures of Dayton Moore having sex with Trey Hillman and a goat back to the Royals when he was traded? Or did he give them to Callaspo? Or Guillen? Or Jacobs? Or does Bettancourt have them now?

Tony Pena Jr. said...

No, Chance, I'm the one who has the pictures. That's why the team agreed to make me into a pitcher rather than release me. If all goes well, I will be back in K.C. posting a 5.50 ERA before this time next year!

Bill James said...

Rany, your true destiny still beckons to you and you must answer. Your statistical genius must not be wasted on the unwashed masses of Kansas City. Verily I say unto you that the Commoners of K.C. who make false claim to Royal status will be smitten one hundred times annually forever, until they accept the truth written in the Abstracts long ago! You must follow Saint Bill, the Patron Saint of Sabermetrics, take a pilgrimage to the great city of Boston, and follow their mighty host!

Chris said...

So, Bill, did you tell Theo which of the Bosox players should use steroids and what stats did you use to arrive at your conclusion?

The titles be tainted!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, join the sycophant masses that have materialized over the past 6 years and that worship at the alter of the artificially enhanced.

91 years and counting chowda heads...

noseycat said...

Rany, can we get a run down on the minor league affiliates and top prospects? Maybe that will rekindle some of the hope that has been wasted on the current big league club.

Dayton Moore said...

Tell Bill James that I WILL NOT accept his false gospel, not now, not then, and NOT EVER! We will not accept the concept of the Holy On-Base Percentage, nor will be worship at the Altar of Runs Created or read the so-called sacred book of Win Shares daily. We will burn any Abstract we see and we will revile the accursed name of Bill James as long as we live! The heretics of the world may go to Boston, but I, Dayton Moore, will continue in the ancient ways!

Anonymous said...

Rany:


So I think the bar needs to be set. If the Royals increase their payroll to <= $78 million next season, or don't increase it at all, the fans should boycott...not go to games, etc.

Is that an unreasonable thing to do?

Anonymous said...

$78MM is too low.

$85MM minimum.

If not, strike! Let him try to move the team. No city in their right mind would want a team owned by David Glass and if they did, well, they deserve their fate.

To hell with Glass (and his little dog too!).

Ryan said...

What's the point of increasing to $85 million payroll, if Moore keeps spending money on multi-year deals for people like Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Guillen?

BTW, 2008 Draft Update:
Gordon Beckham is starting for the White Sox and is batting over .300.

Switch hitting, slugging first baseman Justin Smoak will probably be called up to the Rangers this year.

Catcher, Buster Posey, is slated to start for the Giants next year.

The Royals' Eric Hosmer is in Single A.

Anonymous said...

BOYCOTT 2009



Who's going to spearhead this? If Glass doesn't increase payroll to $8X million, then boycott the games.


Somebody get that URL purchased.

Something like "KCROYALSBOTTOMLINE.COM" or something.

Jeremy said...

Instead of Callaspo DH'ing... why not try him in right field? Bloomquist could finally log some time at his natural position while keeping Callaspo's bat in the lineup. Leave Teahan at first where he's a defensive upgrade over Billy. DH Billy like last night and close the book on Jacobs.

Callaspo's offensive numbers stack up as a serviceable outfielder.

It'd be less of a leap of faith than having Betancourt on the team at all, and less of a project than TPJ learning to pitch. If he never becomes a "good" outfielder, he's still more valuable than Guillen.

Plus, if his power is starting to bloom, he might yet have some trade value by next year's deadline if he's something other than a bad second baseman.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy,
Couldn't hurt to put Callaspo out there, but you and I know that won't happen for 2 reasons.

First, for some reason, this organization, (Hillman or Moore) just loves Mitch.

Two, aside from whether Callaspo's arm is strong enough to throw from RF to 3rd, I think moving him out there at this late date would send a lot of bad signals to the fans that they (management) doesn't know what they are doing and are hunting & pecking for solutions.

I don't think there is a postion on a major legaue starting roster for Callaspo. I seriously doubt he's going to improve to be a better 2nd baseman than he already is. Too bad, because the kid can hit. Who knows, perhaps if he's committed over the offseason, he could come back and be a serviceable 2nd baseman.

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