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Royals Trade Rick Ankiel, Kyle Farnsworth to Atlanta

In a move announced just after the trading deadline passed this afternoon, the Royals traded outfielder Rick Ankiel, reliever Kyle Farnsworth and cash to the Braves for outfielder Gregor Blanco, reliever Jesse Chavez and minor league left-handed reliever Tim Collins.

According to Bob Dutton, the Royals picked up all but $1 million of the combined salaries of Ankiel and Farnsworth. With a third of the season remaining, the Royals owed Ankiel just over a million dollars and Farnsworth 1.5 million so basically they threw in Ankiel for free.

In return, the Royals got two players who’ve been on Atlanta’s major league roster in Blanco and Chavez, and a high-upside lefty in Collins.

Blanco is similar to a younger Scott Podsednik – left handed, average basestealing ablity, little power. At 25 years old and with four years of team control after 2010, he’s not bad to have around for major league depth, though he’s never been much of a hitter at the minor league level (career .269 batting average in the minor leagues). What Blanco does provide is ability to play all three outfield positions, some speed, and a strong walkrate at every level of professional baseball. In the minor leagues, Blanco walked 12.8% of the time. At the major league level, he’s walked in 13.6% of plate appearances. League average is 8.6%.

Year Tm G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2008 ATL 144 519 52 108 14 4 1 38 13 5 74 99 .251 .366 .309 .676
2009 ATL 24 48 5 8 0 1 0 1 2 0 4 9 .186 .255 .233 .488
2010 ATL 36 66 9 18 1 1 0 3 1 2 8 15 .310 .394 .362 .756
3 Seasons 204 633 66 134 15 6 1 42 16 7 86 123 .252 .361 .309 .670
162 Game Avg. 162 503 52 106 12 5 1 33 13 6 68 98 .252 .361 .309 .670
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/31/2010.

Jesse Chavez is a right handed reliever who hasn’t been very effective in three major league seasons.

Year Tm W L ERA G IP R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2008 PIT 0 1 6.60 15 15.0 11 11 2 9 16 1.933 12.0 1.2 5.4 9.6 1.78
2009 PIT 1 4 4.01 73 67.1 33 30 11 22 47 1.351 9.2 1.5 2.9 6.3 2.14
2010 ATL 3 2 5.89 28 36.2 24 24 6 12 29 1.418 9.8 1.5 2.9 7.1 2.42
3 Seasons 4 7 4.92 116 119.0 68 65 19 43 92 1.445 9.8 1.4 3.3 7.0 2.14
162 Game Avg. 2 4 4.92 68 70 40 38 11 25 54 1.445 9.8 1.4 3.3 7.0 2.14
PIT (2 yrs) 1 5 4.48 88 82.1 44 41 13 31 63 1.457 9.7 1.4 3.4 6.9 2.03
ATL (1 yr) 3 2 5.89 28 36.2 24 24 6 12 29 1.418 9.8 1.5 2.9 7.1 2.42
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/31/2010.

He did have a decent season in 2009 with the Pirates, and his 92/43 K/BB ratio isn’t awful, though he’s given up 1.4 homeruns per nine innings in his career, and that’s just too high. His groundball to flyball ratios have decreased with every season in the big leagues, too, so that trend may not improve unless he makes adjustments.

Chavez throws a fastball that touches the mid-90s and also has a changeup and slider. He’s most likely a 6th/7th inning guy.

The intriguing acquisition in the deal, though, is lefty Tim Collins.

Year Tm Lev W L ERA G IP R ER HR BB K WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K/BB
2007 Blue Jays Rk 0 0 4.50 7 6.0 3 3 0 2 7 1.333 9.0 0.0 3.0 10.5 3.50
2008 Lansing A 4 2 1.58 39 68.1 13 12 3 32 98 0.995 4.7 0.4 4.2 12.9 3.06
2009 2 Teams 9 7 2.91 49 77.1 30 25 3 35 116 1.216 6.9 0.3 4.1 13.5 3.31
2009 Dunedin A+ 7 4 2.37 40 64.2 21 17 2 28 99 1.160 6.5 0.3 3.9 13.8 3.54
2009 N. H. AA 2 3 5.68 9 12.2 9 8 1 7 17 1.500 8.5 0.7 5.0 12.1 2.43
2010 2 Teams AA 1 0 2.29 41 51.0 13 13 5 19 87 0.980 5.5 0.9 3.4 15.4 4.58
2010 N. H. AA 1 0 2.51 35 43.0 12 12 4 16 73 1.000 5.7 0.8 3.3 15.3 4.56
2010 Mississippi AA 0 0 1.12 6 8.0 1 1 1 3 14 0.875 4.5 1.1 3.4 15.8 4.67
4 Seasons 14 9 2.35 136 202.2 59 53 11 88 308 1.086 5.9 0.5 3.9 13.7 3.50
AA (2 seasons) 3 3 2.97 50 63.2 22 21 6 26 104 1.084 6.1 0.8 3.7 14.7 4.00
A (1 season) 4 2 1.58 39 68.1 13 12 3 32 98 0.995 4.7 0.4 4.2 12.9 3.06
Rk (1 season) 0 0 4.50 7 6.0 3 3 0 2 7 1.333 9.0 0.0 3.0 10.5 3.50
A+ (1 season) 7 4 2.37 40 64.2 21 17 2 28 99 1.160 6.5 0.3 3.9 13.8 3.54
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/31/2010.

At a mere 5’7″ and 155 pounds, Collins won’t strike fear in the hearts of batters, but he should, judging by his career minor league strikeout rate of 13.7 batters per nine innings. Ranked 19th in the Blue Jays system by Baseball America earlier in the year, he was included as part of the Yunel Escobar/Alex Gonzalez trade. Now, the 20 year old (21 in three weeks) will report to Omaha.

Though he’s even smaller than Billy Wagner, the two are somewhat comparable (not to say that the Royals just got the next Billy Wagner, though, that’d be nice). Both are small left handed relievers and both strike out batters by the handful.  Collins has a similar walkrate and better strikeout rate than Wagner had in the minors and could be a complementary player (or the replacement for) Dusty Hughes for the big league club.

The scouting gives Collins a fastball around 93 mph and a true 12-to-6 curveball that he combines with a quirky delivery, leg kick and arm slot to be effective.  Despite his first few appearances in rookie ball (at age 17) and 12.2 innings at Double A New Hampshire, nobody’s figured Collins out yet, so his assignment to Omaha will be a huge test for him for the rest of 2010.

Overall, the biggest benefit to the team came from moving two players whose contracts were nearly expired and getting something for them.  There aren’t any particular outfield prospects that are screaming for a promotion, though it’d be nice to see David Lough or Jordan Parraz or Derrick Robinson or Paulo Orlando (if Dayton Moore wanted to skip a level on those last two) get some playing time with the Royals in 2010.  Blanco might platoon with Willie Bloomquist, hopefully giving Mitch Maier everyday action in the outfield.  Alex Gordon will be the everyday left-fielder.

And if nothing else, the Royals have cut some payroll while adding players to their minor league system and the big league club who are under team control for a number of years.

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Topics: AL Central, Baseball, Dayton Moore, Gregor Blanco, Jesse Chavez, Kansas City Royals, KC, Kyle Farnsworth, MLB, Rick Ankiel, Royals, Tim Collins

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  • Keaton Krell

    Alright, Mr. Engel, shoot it to me strait, is this a good deal for the boys in powder blue?*

    I’ll admit, I just got home from a wedding with an open bar. That means I’m pretty hammered. But also it means that I just saw the words trade, Braves, and Ankiel for free in the same column, and drunk me thinks that’s pretty funny, and not in a positive way. From the outside looking in (which is how I’m feeling right now) this seems like a ridiculous deal for the Braves. But, I don’t know.

    *I didn’t actually read the whole article, so forgive me if you’ve outlined whether or not you feel this is a good deal.

  • Keaton Krell

    Alright, so after reading the article it sounds like we’re building for years to come and fireselling this year. I’m okay with that, and maybe we’ll find a diamond in the rough.

  • Pingback: Tomahawk Take Poll:Reactions to the Braves Deadline Deal | Tomahawk Take | An Atlanta Braves Blog

  • Eric

    Nice thoughts on the trade. I think we got a good deal, especially considering Atlanta just added some depth with the trade.