It was just announced that the Royals have made their first trade of the deadline season, sending Alberto Callaspo to the Angels for right handed pitcher Sean O’Sullivan and minor league lefty Will Smith (let the Fresh Prince jokes commence).
Callaspo had been manning third base since the demotion of Alex Gordon back in May and had done a much better job there defensively than at second base, but he hadn’t had much luck offensively since June, putting up an OPS of .545 in the month and a .638 OPS in July. After 31 RBI in the first two months, Callaspo had only driven in 12 since the end of May. The Angels are getting a high-contact bat, though his power numbers may not translate to third base very well. Then again, this is an Angels team that had Chone Figgins at third base for years.
|162 Game Avg.||162||591||62||153||32||6||8||59||.283||.333||.406||.738||95|
|KCR (3 yrs)||317||1241||140||334||68||13||19||132||.293||.343||.426||.769||105|
|ARI (2 yrs)||79||203||12||41||9||1||0||13||.220||.272||.280||.552||40|
|AL (3 yrs)||317||1241||140||334||68||13||19||132||.293||.343||.426||.769||105|
|NL (2 yrs)||79||203||12||41||9||1||0||13||.220||.272||.280||.552||40|
In exchange, the Royals receive Sean O’Sullivan, a 22 year old righty who’s made five appearances at the major league level in 2010, including a start against the Yankees on Tuesday where he out-dueled Phil Hughes for the win. O’Sullivan was a third round selection in 2005 out of high school and has a 3.81 ERA in his minor league career, striking out 6.6 per nine innings and walking 2.4 batters per nine. In 17 major league appearances, he’s thrown 64.2 innings and struck out 4.9 batters and walked 2.8 per nine innings. He’s young, but may not project beyond a fourth starter.
Will Smith is the #15 prospect in the Angels system in the Baseball America Prospect Handbook entering 2010. Smith was a 7th round selection in 2008 by the Angels and has pitched for the Angels High A, Double A and Triple A affiliates, producing an ERA over those three levels of 5.53 in 109 innings pitched. That’s pretty rough, but over his minor league career, he’s has a 2.2 walks per nine innings rate and has struck out 7.6 batters per nine innings pitched, a nice 3.47 K/BB ratio. Baseball America projects him as a #4 starter as well.
What this means for 2010 is that Anthony Lerew may hit the disabled list once O’Sullivan makes it to New York to join the team. The Royals have activated Rick Ankiel from the 15-day disabled list to fill Callaspo’s roster spot and it’s unlikely that any bullpen arms will go anywhere (though Victor Marte could be a candidate for Omaha due to recent struggles). Wilson Betemit is in the lineup tonight at third base and he’s likely for that role through the rest of the season, unless the Royals plan to do an about face and bring Alex Gordon back to play third at the major league level.
The Royals now have Scott Podsednik, David DeJesus, Rick Ankiel, Mitch Maier, Jose Guillen and Willie Bloomquist active as outfielders. I assume Ankiel will be showcased as best he can for potential trade partners (we’ll see how that goes) while Podsednik and DeJesus fill in the other spots. Guillen of course will DH most of the time, and Mitch Maier gets left out. Bloomquist has been platooning with Maier lately, too, so they may trade spot starts depending on pitching matchups (which is a whole other story – though I’m biased as part of the Mitch Maier fan club). The door is still open for a trade involving any of those outfielders, especially DeJesus and possibly also Podsednik and Guillen.
It’s possible that this signifies the Royals have confidence that Mike Moustakas will be ready for the major leagues somewhere in 2011 or perhaps to start the year if he has a strong spring. That’s optimistic, but not unrealistic as he’s made great strides in 2010 and has two homers in a short time at Omaha so far.