In Melky Cabrera’s first and only full season with the KC Royals, Cabrera posted a .305/.339/.470 slashline as the Royals regular center fielder in 2011. While Cabrera wasn’t exactly a gold glove defensive player, he was more than good enough given his offensive output and in his season in KC, Cabrera had a 4.4 WAR.
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The 2011 KC Royals outfield featured Cabrera in CF, newly moved Gordon in LF, and Jeff Francoeur in RF. However, a new high-upside prospect in the KC Royals farm system named Lorenzo Cain was ready to make his move to MLB Royals, and Cabrera was apparently blocking that move.
The KC Royals had several pitching prospects in the pipeline at the time but General Manager Dayton Moore believed the Royals needed a guy with some experience to help in the rotation. Dayton Moore also could have traded Francoeur and move Cabrera to RF freeing up a spot for Lorenzo Cain in CF. Moore however opted to trade Cabrera following a near career season for LHP Jonathan Sanchez.
Sanchez’s previous bright spot was 2010 when he was 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA in a year the Giants beat the Rangers. Moore believed Sanchez was a “#3 starter on a championship club”. As a KC Royal however, Sanchez was disaster.
Sanchez lasted only about 1/2 a season in KC starting 12 games and posting a 7.76 ERA. Sanchez was traded midway through the 2012 season for Colorado Rockies Right Hander Jeremy Guthrie as Guthrie needed a change of scenery and the Sanchez experience in KC had already worn thin.
If Dayton Moore was set on trading Melky Cabrera, there were many suitors given his big season the year before he was traded. Despite Cabrera getting suspended for half the following season for PED usage, the Royals still got by far the worst end of this deal.
Next: Mistake No. 2