If I recall correctly, the Minnesota Twins are the only major league team that the Kansas City Royals haven’t made a trade with in their history. Based on an article Joe Christensen published on the Star Tribune’s website this morning I really hope that changes soon, if Wilson Ramos is involved anyway. Just in case you’re not aware, and you’re probably not, Ramos is at the top of my minor league catcher wish list. While I don’t have a lot of faith in Dayton pulling the trigger on a trade and actually coming out ahead, this is one deal he would have a hard time screwing up in my book. That is, of course, unless did something like trade Joakim Soria straight up to get him.
I have long been in the “don’t trade Soria camp” and for the most part I remain there, but this is one of the few guys and one of the few teams that gets me thinking about it. If you don’t know about Wilson Ramos he is currently fighting for a major league job this spring, is the Twins number #2 prospect, projects to be an offensive force, is wonderful defensively and is only 22-years old. Don’t just take my word for it, Christensen wrote the following today:
Ramos is showing why Baseball America recently ranked him as the game’s 58th-best prospect and No. 2 in the Twins organization behind outfielder Aaron Hicks. The same publication lists Ramos as the organization’s best power-hitting prospect, as well as the top minor league defensive catcher.
As manager Ron Gardenhire has said, “He’s the package.”
In addition to his considerable talents as a player, the acquisition of Ramos would give the Royals more flexibility when evaluating the development and future position for Wil Myers. Before I get too far ahead of myself, Wilson Ramos won’t be easy to pry away from the Twins organization, but they also have Jose Morales who is a good looking prospect at the position in his own right. Morales’ presence affords the Twins the luxury of entertaining the idea of dealing a player such as Ramos without having to worry about leaving the cupboard bare. It also doesn’t hurt that they have the game’s best catcher locked up through 2018.
Any deal that has Ramos coming to Kansas City would almost have to involve Joakim Soria heading north to Minnesota. Considering Soria’s youth, three-year stretch of dominance, and very club friendly contract, a straight-up trade doesn’t make sense for Dayton and the Royals, but what if the Twins were willing to kick in another prospect to sweeten the pot? Minnesota has a glut of OF prospects that put Kansas City’s to shame. Ramos and #1 prospect Aaron Hicks would be insane from the Twins’ standpoint, but would they hang-up the phone if Dayton asked for Ramos and #5 prospect Ben Revere? If Moore could pull off that two-for-one deal I could probably ignore the likely poor performance of the 2010 Royals through the summer. Hell, I might be giddy inside for the entire season despite the fact that the major league team will be fighting to stay out of the AL Central cellar, and I don’t think the Twins would be getting burned in such a deal.
Still aside from the Johan Santana trade, the Twins are a very intelligently run organization. I’d be stunned if they were to agree to a Ramos and Revere package to get Soria up to Target Field. That shouldn’t deter Dayton Moore and the Royals. In addition to Hicks and Revere the Twins have a handful of other OF prospects that they could pair with Ramos including Angel Morales, Rene Tosoni, and Joe Benson that would provide fair return for Soria. Depending on the thoughts of the Royals talent evaluation staff when it comes to each of those three players, and Wilson Ramos, the Twins might have to add a third, lower tier, prospect to the package.
I still struggle with the idea of trading Joakim Soria for any package of players regardless of how lopsided the deal would appear to be shifted in the Royals favor. However, the Twins and Royals appear to match up ridiculously well in terms of a potential deal that would involve Wilson Ramos and Soria. Further, if Dayton Moore were to trade Joakim, the pain would be a little lessened for me if he wound up pitching for the Twins since they are my second favorite team.
Since taking over as GM in the summer of 2006 Dayton has not shown any inclination or desire to make a major deal like this, so that perhaps more than anything else makes this extremely unlikely. We all know that Moore and the Royals have grown overly sensitive about criticism, and I think one of the negative results of this sensitivity is that Moore is less willing to deal on this level. For what it is worth, I also think this sensitivity is part of the reason Josh Fields came with Chris Getz in the Mark Teahen trade, but that is a thought better left for another day.
At some point, there is going to be a first time for Moore to pull off a trade like this and there will eventually come a time when the Royals and Twins become trading partners.