This offseason KC Royals trade continues looking better and better

Kansas City trading away a promising prospect wasn't taken well, but MLB results are undeniable.
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The KC Royals and Boston Red Sox made a low-impact trade back in February, swapping an MLB reliever for a young pitching prospect. Trading away David Sandlin, a then-top-30 prospect according to, for John Schreiber seemed foolish and shortsighted on February 17 due to Sandlin's high potential and Schreiber's previous performance. However, nearly three months later, the Royals look like the clear winners of this player swap.

The KC Royals trading for John Schreiber is another shrewd move paying off.

Schreiber is having an all-star-quality start to the 2024 season in Kansas City. His average situational leverage, spanning across 17 games and 16⅓ innings, only trails that of closer James McArthur. His 1.10 ERA and 0.98 WHIP lead all qualified Royals relievers, far surpassing his preseason expectations.

Meanwhile, Sandlin is struggling with the Red Sox High-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive. He has an ugly 5.17 ERA across four starts in 2024, due to command issues and allowing four home runs in 15⅔ innings. Sandlin still has his strikeout stuff, as evident by fanning 31.3% of his opposition. Still, the walks and long balls inflate his FIP to 5.74, by far his worst professional mark.

Sandlin is trending in the right direction but still has plenty of work to do. His May 4 start, where he allowed only one run with seven strikeouts, looked more like what Boston expected from the Oklahoma alum. His prospect status gives him a more gracious timeline, but Schreiber was expected to produce immediately, and he has done exactly that.

Schreiber had a breakout year in 2022 for the Red Sox, recording a 1.7 fWAR that tied for the fourth-highest among AL relievers, showcasing his impact on the team. He earned the Red Sox 2022 Fireman Award, where voters chose him as the team's top reliever. However some injury concerns and a slight regression made the 30-year-old available. Boston's loss is Kansas City's gain.

Schreiber is now a foundational piece of Kansas City's resurgent bullpen. When Kansas City acquired the pitcher, manager Matt Quatraro was well aware of his former AL East opponent.

"He has really good stuff and is super competitive," Quatraro said to the Kansas City Star's Jaylon Thompson ($). "He can bring not only more diversity, different arm slot and different look from the bullpen. (He is) somebody that has pitched in high leverage and somebody that we consider able to make us a deeper bullpen overall and just a better team.”

Everything Quatraro said then has come to fruition, and anything seems possible for the winning Royals. They must excel in margins, cashing in on these trades like they did with McArthur. Schreiber and Sandlin still have plenty of baseball to play, but Kansas City looks like the clear winner of this trade.

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