Crown Gems: BA on Gutierrez Trade, BA 9/4 Prospect Hot Sheet, and 2010 Commitments

Three links submitted for your enjoyment in this edition of Crown Gems.  Included are Baseball America’s take on the Royals trade of Danny Gutierrez, two Royals featured in Baseball America’s 9/4 Prospect Hot Sheet, and MLB Trade Rumors got around to the Royals in their Offseason Outlook.

First off, I wanted to share a link to Baseball America’s write up of the Royals trade of RHP-Danny Gutierrez.  Their closing “Quick Take” on the trade:

For the Royals, they get needed depth for the upper levels of the system. Kansas City has shown impressive talent at the lower levels of the farm system this year, but the Double-A and Triple-A teams have been almost bereft of prospects. Pina immediately becomes the most advanced catching prospect in the system.

The more I read about and the more I process the trade, the more I am in favor of it.  I was aware Gutierrez has some off the field trouble, but three brushes with the law in just a year and a half would make NLFers Chris Henry or Adam “Pacman” Jones proud.  Sometimes trades like these can simply be a case of addition by subtraction and sometimes you can get a decent part in the process of dumping a troubled player.  The Royals did the latter when they dealt RHP-Ambiorix Burgos to the Mets on December 6th, 2006 and received RHP-Brian Bannister in return.  Dayton also pulled it off a second time just 10 days later when he traded LHP-Andrew Sisco to the Chicago White Sox for 1B/OF-Ross Gload.  Both Burgos and Sisco were, by all accounts, bad apples and purging them from the roster would have been a positive even without any returns.  Of course you can argue the “returns” of Ross Gload, but it isn’t his fault that Trey Hillman and Buddy Bell combined to play him in 224 games over his two years in Kansas City.  Thanks to the depth of quality pitching prospects the Royals have in the low levels, and thanks to the off-the-field issues of Gutierrez, I’m okay with this move even if Manny Pina or Tim Smith never reach the majors.  Based on the defensive aptitude of Pina behind the plate, relative to the other options, it seems entirely possible that he could be given a shot to make the 2010 ML roster in spring training.  A platoon of Brayan Pena and Manny Pina couldn’t be any worse than being subjected to another year of Olivo and Buck.  Smith will have a much tougher time breaking into the bigs with KC while David DeJesus still patrols LF.  DJ is signed through 2010 and the Royals have a $6 million club option for 2011 if they choose to exercise it, assuming he is still on the team at that point.  Smith probably joins the illustrious group of 4th OF options for the 2011 or 2012 season, but with some plate discipline and youth on his side, he could have a bigger impact than that when all is said and done.  At the very least, Smith should give folks in Omaha a solid young player to watch for a couple of years.

Second, I wanted to make a mention of Baseball America’s September 4th Prospect Hot Sheet which ranked the top performances of minor league prospects during the week of 8/28-9/3.  The exciting news from this is that LHP-Mike Montgomery ranked 3rd on the list and Royals 2009 3rd round draft pick C-Wil Myers ranked 5th.  It looks like the Royals have finally identified and drafted an impact bat at a premium defensive position who is providing immediate returns.  It appears he is going to get a shot to stick at C.  That fact, combined with his 2009 performance, means Myers will likely rank among the Royals top 5 prospects heading into next year.  All Myers has done since September 3rd is go 10-16 including a 5-5 game yesterday.  Since joining Idaho Falls, he has hit 0.436/.500/.782 and he’s just 18!

Finally, MLBTradeRumors.com provided a glimpse at the Royals 2010 commitments.  Naturally I’ll have much more to say about the construction of the 2010 roster during the offseason, but off the top of my head I buyout the options on Coco Crisp, Miguel Olivo, and Yasuhiko Yabuta.  I do not offer arbitration to John Buck, Mike Jacobs, or John Bale.  To me those are the moves to be made without any deep thought or hesitation.  I will probably spend most of the offseason terrified that Dayton Moore will try to bring Coco Crisp back at a reduced rate.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Danny Gutierrez Kansas City Royals KC Manny Pina Mike Montgomery MLB Royals Tim Smith Wil Myers

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