KC Royals need starting pitcher help at the trade deadline. That the Boston Red Sox had to to give up top prospect Anderson Espinoza for NL All-Star Drew Pomeranz shows just how expensive starting pitching is as the trade deadline approaches.
Anderson Espinoza is an 18-year-old righty whose fastball sits at 94-95 and touches 99 mph. He has been pitching at class A Greenville with a 0.68 ERA and 72 strikeout in 76 innings. Keith Law ranked him the no. 14 prospect in baseball in his mid-season top 50 list. Note that no Kanans City Royals farmhand made Law’s list.
In return, the Red Sox got 2016 All-Star Drew Pomeranz from the Padres. The 27-year-old was a no. 5 overall draft pick of the Indians in 2010, but has largely disappointed in five major league seasons before breaking out this year. Pomeranz sports a career 3.66 ERA, but has not logged more than 96.2 innings in a season in MLB. The most innings he has pitched in a season was 149.1 in 2012 between the Colorado Rockies, AAA Colorado Springs, and AA Tulsa.
A proven innings eater he ain’t.
More from KC Royals News
- KC Royals Rumors: Is a monster move in the cards?
- KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: 3 Tampa Bay pitchers
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The $25 million man
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
But, Pomeranz emerged as the Padres staff ace after lobbying his way into the starting rotation during spring training. The left-handed Pomeranz earned his first All-Star nod for his 8-7, 2.47 ERA, 10.1 K/9 first half of 2016 with 102.0 innings pitched in 17 starts.
The risk with Pomeranz is that he’s never pitched this many innings in his career, and has not shown that he can take the ball every fifth day for an entire season. While his age and performance suggest he should hold up, teams never know until they see a guy do something.
The no. 14 overall prospect in baseball is a stiff price to pay for a guy with as many questions as Pomeranz, but he does come with two more years of team control after 2016. Thus, Pomeranz isn’t a rental. You just don’t know what you’re getting over the long term.
The high price for Pomeranz doesn’t bode well for the Kansas City Royals hopes of substantially upgrading their starting rotation before the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. The KC Royals top trade chip is soon to be 21-years-old shortstop Raul Mondesi, who is currently playing at AAA Omaha.
You have to think that Mondesi will be the first name that potential trade partners will mention when the Kansas City Royals inquire about pitching help. If the KC Royals hope to land an impact arm, they most likely will have to give up their best prospect.
That’s why general manager Dayton Moore gets paid the big bucks.