The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is just about 24 hours away and there is a lot of movement going on across MLB. In this post I have included; an update on the 5 players I wrote about earlier in the week, my thoughts on the acquisition of Josh Anderson, some news items about Royals trade rumors, and some other players that have been released of DFA’d in the last couple of days.
Before I get into the updates, the Royals acquisition, and the Royals related rumors please take a moment to subscribe to the Kings of Kauffman RSS feed by clicking here.
First off, here is an update on each of the 5 players I wrote about on Monday.
- Rockies RHP-Ryan Speier remains out in limbo.
- Astros RHP-Chad Paronto, not surprisingly, cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Round Rock.
- 1B/OF-Mark Kotsay was acquired by the Chicago White Sox. The Boston Red Sox received OF-Brian Anderson in return.
- OF-Wladimir Balentien was acquired by the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for 25 year old RHP-Robert Manuel who made his ML debut for the Reds earlier this month. I understand, to a small degree, why Seattle would DFA and give up on Balentien, but I don’t get why the Reds would part with Manuel to get him. In 4.1 IP over 3 appearances he had yet to give up an earned run. On top of that, Manuel has been extremely effective in the minor leagues the last two season. This year in 36 AAA appearances and 46.2 innings of work he had a 2.70 ERA, 1.007 WHIP, 7.3 SO/9, and 3.80 SO/BB. Clearly the Reds think they can get Wladimir to tap into his immense potential. Playing in the NL and in Great American Ballpark could be just want Balentien needs to blossom, but giving up on promising young arms in the process is rarely ever a good idea.
The 5th player I wrote about was Tigers OF-Josh Anderson. This afternoon it was announced that the Royals have acquired Anderson from Detroit for cash considerations. Since Anderson and his wife are expecting their first child, it remains unclear when he will report to the team. Craig Brown of Royals Authority already has a post up reacting to the move titled, Royals Shuffle the Deck Chairs. Clearly he is not a fan of the move, but I absolutely am. While I fully expect Anderson to become the Royals starting CF, unlike Craig, I don’t see Trey penciling him in to hit leadoff. The smart thing to do with Anderson is to hit him at the bottom of the lineup until he shows he is capable of more. Unlike Crisp, Josh is not a veteran player. I don’t think Dayton or Trey feel any need to show their newest acquisition any sort of preferential treatment, which I am convinced was in play with Crisp and a factor in where he was hitting in the order before hitting the DL.
In his post over on Royals Authority, Craig compares the acquisition of Anderson to past acquisitions such as Gathright, Freel, Bloomquist, and Maier. Bloomquist is more of a true utility player, and while I hated that signing this offseason, Willie B has been a servicable piece for the team. Had GMDM known that Anderson was going to be DFA’d I doubt he would have acquired Ryan Freel to begin with and they are on opposite sides of the career spectrum. Joey Gathright is probably the most applicable comparison of past Royals, but Anderson can play at least average defense in the outfield which is something Joey could never lay claim to. Even so, Gathright was not as big of a bust as most people think. In 6 years and 1,159 ML at bats, Gathright has hit 0.262/.327/.303. Those are not ground breaking numbers, but he isn’t a complete train wreck on a ML roster either. They way some people talk about Joey’s time with the Royals you’d think he hit like Tony Pena Jr. Fortunately there is only one TPJ and now he’s a pitcher.
Unlike most of the rest of the ML roster, Josh Anderson actually does 2 things above average. He can play defense and is a good baserunner, plus he is also young enough that his bat can continue to develop although his 0.283/.327/.372 line in 368 ML at bats looks pretty good on the Royals roster right now. He has, admittedly, struggled this season with Detroit, but I have no doubt he will be more productive and more comfortable here in Kansas City. To make room for Josh Anderson, Mitch Maier will most likely be optioned back to Omaha, but no move has been officially announced.
Anderson gives the Royals lineup a legitimate threat to steal bases, a legitimate baserunner, and a legitimate defensive CF who has yet to reach his prime years and all it took for the Royals to acquire him was a little bit of cash. It is a low risk move that makes the ML team better, and I applaud Dayton Moore for making it happen.
Speaking of making things happen, there are been trade rumors surrounding a number of Royals players as the trade deadline rapidly approaches.
- The Chicago Cubs and San Fransisco Giants have been mentioned among the teams possibly looking to add the services of KoK favorite Mark Teahen.
- Earlier in the week Willie Bloomquist was briefly mentioned in the same breath as the Boston Red Sox, but that seems to have died off very quickly.
- Ron Mahay’s name continues to come up, and according to Buster Olney, the Royals are actively shopping him. The Braves and Phillies have popped up as possible teams with interest. Baltimore’s George Sherrill has been dealt to the Dodgers, which is good news for the Royals chances. The more higher profile bullpen arms that go off the market, the better the services of Ron Mahay look.
A couple other players have been recently DFA’d or released, but shouldn’t figure into the Royals plans. They include the following: Brett Tomko who was released by the Yankees, Corey Patterson and Julian Tavarez who were released by the Nationals, and Elmer Dessens who was DFA’d by the Mets. No thanks on all counts.