He was one of the first acquisitions when Dayton Moore took over as General Manager in 2006. The son of former Major League pitcher Floyd Bannister, also a former Kansas City Royal, Brian Bannister was a highly touted prospect in the Mets’ organization that Moore had targeted as a future key to the Royals success. Ambiorix Burgos was sent to New York in December of 2006 and by the following summer would find himself entrenched in the Royals rotation and finishing third in American League Rookie Of The Year voting.
Bannister roared on to the major league scene pitching in 27 games and posting a 12-9 record with a 3.87 earned run average and a 1.212 WHIP over 165 innings pitched. It would be the only season to date that would see his record be above .500, his earned run average below 4.00, and would be his second most innings pitched of his career behind 182 2/3 in 2008.
This season, Bannister’s name was tossed around the various rumor mills but to no avail. He was not moved at the deadline and finished 2010 with the Royals, compiling a 7-12 record, a 6.34 earned run average and a 1.629 WHIP over 127 2/3 innings pitched – all career worsts.
Bannister finds himself in the final arbitration eligible year of his career and has to be a bit nervous as to whether the Royals will offer arbitration or cut ties by not tendering him an offer. It is assumed that Moore will actively seek to trade him to another team that hopes a change of scenery can help the tall right handed pitcher regain the form from his rookie year.
In all honesty, a trade would be the most beneficial situation for the Royals as well. Obtaining something in return for a player that just cannot seem to put it all together while wearing powder blue would help the organization save a little bit of shame and help a still serviceable player hold his head high on his way out the door.
Who knows, maybe he will end up on the other end of I-70 before all is said and done?
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.