Royals Trading Deadline Evaluation

Incoming Players/Former Team:

Sean O’Sullivan/Angels
The Royals needed a starter. If front office believed they were in contention at the All-Star break, like Coach Yost did, they would have pursued Roy Oswalt or Cliff Lee. He has not proven to be a part of the solution to the Royals rotation problems; instead he has allowed eight earned runs in eleven innings pitched. Both Oswalt and Lee are solid veterans with post-season experience. O’Sullivan is nil in both categories. Since Lee was traded, he has pitched three complete games and the other start he went 8.1 innings. Oswalt is having an off year due to a sickness called lackofrunsupportitis, but his career winning percentage is still .633. Grade: F

George Blanco/Braves
The Royals needed an outfielder to replace the departure of Podsednik, Ankiel, and the currently injured DeJesus. Filling in with utility players and backups is not the making of a championship caliber team. Blanco, in his limited action has had success this season. His average in the national league was .310 in thirty-six games. Grade: C

Jesse Chavez/Braves
He’s young and is capable of going for more than one inning when required. However, he has not been nearly as effective as the man he was traded for (Farnsworth). He is young and energetic. Maybe some of Soria’s success will rub off on him and the rest of the bullpen. It certainly helped Farnsworth out. However, it is my opinion that the Royals should have kept Farnsworth who has proven to be a solid reliever. Grade: D

Key Players leaving/ New Team:

Rick Ankiel/ Braves
Injuries and inconsistencies led to his early departure. The Braves are looking to improve for their post-season push. The Royals thought they were getting at least an average player when they brought him in; disappointment is the best way to describe his performance while wearing blue and white. Grade: B

Scott Podsednik/Dodgers
This is the biggest mistake they made. He was the best player the Royals traded away, period. He is an All-Star caliber talent in the outfield with speed that the Dodgers wanted to replace the turtle-like Ramirez. As mentioned in one of my previous articles, if he would have stayed the Royals would have had the makings of a solid offensive core. Grade: F

Alberto Callaspo/ Angels
Because of his lack of production on both sides of the ball and the fact that the Royals needed a pitcher in their rotation that can give them solid innings (with Gil Meche not making progress towards pitching for the rest of the season). If he was not traded now he would have been cut due to the costly errors he has made during the season. Grade: B

Kyle Farnsworth/Braves
This was expected to happen but instead of keeping the bullpen somewhat solid in Kansas City, the Braves will now have the benefit of one of the best setup/relievers in the league this season. If the Royals bullpen had been just he and Soria the Royals might be in at least wildcard contention. Grade: F

The Royals did trade for some “prospects” some of these players do have some potential but if the coach wanted to contend and win this season the front office should have backed him up by pursuing top tier players on the trading block. They did give Coach Yost a two year contract however for his “success” so far this season. A very poor consolation prize if you ask me. A good coach, one that I believe we have now, would have rather had a chance to compete for a title than a nice contract. We will never know what kind of success he could have had if they would have given him some more solid pitching and gotten rid of all of the negative influences. Jose Guillen and Ankiel for a Lee or Oswalt would have been acceptable. Throw in a top prospect or two. But that’s because I believe winning is the bottom line in this game, not the profit margin.

Our editor on this site has a famous quote from the movie Field of Dreams on his signature line on the messages he sends us:.

“Man, I did love this game. I’d have played for food money. It was the game… The sounds, the smells. Did you ever hold a ball or a glove to your face? … I used to love traveling on the trains from town to town. The hotels, brass spittoons in the lobbies, brass beds in the rooms. It was the crowd, rising to their feet when the ball was hit deep. Shoot, I’d play for nothing.”

Joe Jackson may not have said those exact words in real life. But he did say this:

“When I was up there at the plate, my purpose was to get on base anyway I could, whether by hitting or by getting hit.”

He wanted to win no matter the personal cost or injury. That’s the kind of players the Royals need. Those are the players they didn’t pursue. You don’t need an all-star team to win, just a team of players who are willing to win by exerting maximum effort every single inning. Overall GPA/grade: 1.29 (D)

5 thoughts on “Royals Trading Deadline Evaluation

  1. first of all to think the team will contend this year is silly. now that i got that out of the way lets address the rest of this joke of a report card. First of all if you are going to grade out the trade you need to look at this like a real gm not some fantasy baseball or mlb 2k11 guy. You fail to mention Tim Collins the best player in the braves trade. You also failed to mention Will Smith who has a chance to make the team in 2011. Sean O’sullivan should not be compared to lee or oswalt are you serious. First of all you do not get those two guys for callaspo and secondly they have no trade clauses so even if you could it would not have happened. You could have offered the whole team and those two pitchers would have said I am not going. O’sullivan is young and a former high round pick who won is first game as a royal vs the YANKEES and his second game was still vs the YANKEES. Also if you think that the team would have cut Callaspo before the year ended then getting two players that were drafted in the first ten rounds is a great trade. Now on to Pods. He is going to meet his plate number and void the last year of his deal so he was leaving KC after the year anyway so getting two players for him is a good deal. Getting catching depth is even better. Farns and Rick being gone is a good deal as well because it clears lots of money of the table. Farnsworth. if the team would have picked up the options left on the two of them it would have been 11 million. They are not worth 11 million. So next time before you go play baseball expert you need to look at the reasons why people were traded and the whole trade.

    1. I went with only the players who are currently at the major league level for this article.

      1. For the record, O’ Sullivan didn’t win as a Royal against the Yankees. He was still with the Angels on July 20. He lost when he pitched for the Royals five days later at Yankee Stadium.

      2. Look at who Seattle got for Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe. Pitching prospects and two infield prospects. Justin Smoak is the only player there that saw regular p.t. at the big league level and his current avg. is at .198. The other infielder plays second. Callaspo has played second base before. He also was hitting forty points better than the current starter Figgins. Their fielding percentages and errors counts are not even close. Figgins has 12 while Callaspo has 7. Callaspo is a switch hitter who can play all four infield spots. Seattle could have used that talent.

      What Seattle was doing was making the best money making decision. Unfortunately a lot of GMs and owners have forgotten what this game is about. It’s not about money, it’s about winning. If you play a game, you should want to win.

      3. I gave Ankiel’s departure a high mark due to the fact of his lack of health this season and when he was healthy he wasn’t producing offensively. Now the Royals have zero of their starting outfielders that they began their season with. What kind of “building for next year” can you do when three starters are gone. Two of them being all-star caliber talent.

      4. It’s hard to put a price tag on a quality bullpen pitcher. Farnsworth has been solid for awhile, not just this year. He was worth every penny the Royals paid for him.

      5. The players that you mentioned are not on the major league roster. So how could they be the best players in the trade if they weren’t assigned major league status?

      6. No trade clauses? Didn’t both Lee and Oswalt get traded? Yes they did. Or are you referring to Callaspo? Oh, wait, he was traded too.

      5. You misunderstood my Callaspo statement. What I am saying is that he wouldn’t have been with the team after this season. He is a cheap player but is he even productive enough to keep around when other players can replace him that are already on the team?

      6. I know from coaching and playing experience that quality catchers are a nice commodity to have. I will say that Kendall is getting up there and may only have one-two seasons left. That gives him time to help groom a replacement or for the Royals to find a quality veteran like they did in him as a replacement.

  2. I have to say for the most part I agree with Charles here. First off, I think you’re taking Yost’s comments out of context, which somewhat skews the premise of this article. Yost had a “you never know” attitude when he gave that quote to reporters, basically saying this is baseball and anything can happen, especially in a division like the AL Central. He never said the team was “in contention.” He was being optimistic, which a good coach should always do. So that throws the argument of going after Oswalt or Cliff Lee to compete this season out the window (by the way, a package including Jose Guillen and Rick Ankiel would not even come CLOSE to prying away either of those two players, no matter how many prospects you threw in there).
    What the Royals did do at the trade deadline was move four players who will NOT be a part of the long-term plan for the team, and in exchange they got some mid-level and low-level prospects who could compete for jobs in the future. They saved money, they got younger, and they brought in players packed with potential. I think most people would consider that a successful trading season.

    1. Oh, and one more thing. In a couple of posts now on this site from different authors, I’ve seen “advice” given to the Royals that they should be signing players with more heart. What does that mean, exactly? Are you suggesting that the Royals should try to raise Shoeless Joe from the dead? While we’re at it, let’s resurrect Leo Durocher to manage these guys. Or maybe we can get Bob Gibson to come out of retirement. Hell, Pete Rose is probably still in playing shape. “Heart” is a silly, irrelevant greeting-card word. With a few exceptions across the league, players play hard because it benefits them financially to do so. Let’s not forget that.

      1. Playing hard does not guarantee bonuses. Playing well does. In some games these two adjectives will go hand and hand and in other games or during a slump a player will still be playing hard but he’s hitting it right at the defenders. Baseball is a game of many things, including passion. Part of any passion is an element of fun. If you don’t enjoy it, then why are you doing it? You can coach a player on how to hit better, field better, and pitch better physically. You can even teach a player how to handle the mental game better. You can’t coach/teach talent or heart. Raw ability will only get you so far. A player has to have the undying passion in order to improve beyond his current level.

        Ex. David DeJesus only played one outfield position when he first came up. Because of his passion and desire to be better he learned to play all three positions equally well. Before his injury, he was set to break an all-time record of error free games by an outfielder at the end of this month.
        Billy Butler, worked hard as well during the off-season and has made less than half as many errors this season than he did last year.

        The reason they are playing hard is not because of money. They’re not even in the top three money makers on the team this year. They are playing to win games and have fun while doing it.

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