Going To WAR On The Trades Of The GMDM Era- Part 2: 2007
Last week, we took a look at the deals pulled off in Dayton Moore’s first 6 months with the Kansas City Royals. Now, we take a look at his first full year with the organization.
This week, we continue our examination of Kansas City Royals’ General Manager Dayton Moore’s deals. In 2006, the Royals had little in their system at that time that any other organization really wanted, and they got little in return for what they dealt away. While according to our WAR statistic, Dayton came out a bit on the short side of those deals, the trades in 2006 had little impact on the present. What will the trades made in 2007 tell us? Let’s take a look…
January 10, 2007: The Cincinnati Reds traded Russ Haltiwanger (minors) to the Kansas City Royals for Jeff Keppinger.
We me mentioned in last week’s column, with regard to the 2006 trade FOR Jeff Keppinger, that it was unlikely most Royals fans even remembered his tenure with the Royals. That is because he did little during that tenure worth remembering. However, it was immediately after the Royals shipped him off to Cincinnati, that Keppinger began making himself a somewhat useful Second Baseman. And as you could probably guess, Russ Haltiwanger never played a single game with the Royals, or any other MLB franchise for that matter.
Keppinger: 1.1 WAR with Reds (07-08)
Haltiwanger: 0.0 WAR (never played for Royals)
Reds win trade by 1.1 WAR
March 23, 2007: The Atlanta Braves traded Tony Pena to the Kansas City Royals for Erik Cordier (minors).
Who would have thought that it took Dayton almost an entire year before he made his first deal with his favorite organization to exchange players with, the Atlanta Braves. This was a time when the Royals were absolutely desperate for a shortstop. While previous shortstop and 2003 American League Rookie of the Year, Angel Berroa was still on the roster, it had become abundantly clear that a change was needed. Pena had a reputation as a good defensive shortstop that couldn’t hit a lick. He pretty much lived up to that reputation. Cordier was a 2nd round pick of the Royals in 2004 and pitched for the Braves AAA affiliate last year as a 25 year old. He has gone through Tommy John surgery and has some limited upside still as a major league pitcher.
Cordier: 0.0 WAR with Braves (has not yet reached majors but still only 25 and in Braves system)
Pena: -2.5 WAR with Royals (2007-2009)
Braves win trade by 2.5 WAR
March 27, 2007: The Kansas City Royals traded Max St. Pierre to the Milwaukee Brewers for Ben Hendrickson.
Not much worth discussing here. Neither player ever played for the team they were traded to. Hendrickson is out of baseball and St. Pierre is currently in the Tigers’ organization.
June 14, 2007: The Kansas City Royals traded Graham Koonce to the Atlanta Braves for Bill McCarthy (minors).
Here we go again. Trade #2 with the Braves for Dayton was pretty forgettable for both organizations. Koonce never played for the Braves, and McCarthy never played for the Royals. Both players are now out of baseball.
July 13, 2007: The Detroit Tigers traded Roman Colon to the Kansas City Royals for Daniel Christensen (minors).
Colon certainly didn’t light it up with the Royals, but at least he pitched. Christensen never pitched for the Tigers and is now out of baseball.
Christensen: 0.0 (never pitched for Tigers)
Colon: 0.1 with Royals (2009-2010)
Royals win trade by 0.1 WAR
July 31, 2007: The Kansas City Royals traded Octavio Dotel to the Atlanta Braves for Kyle Davies.
And here is trade #3 of the Dayton Moore era with the Braves. This is one that most Royals fans undoubtedly remember. Dotel was having a nice year for the Royals as their closer, but they were going nowhere and going into free agency. The Braves needed bullpen help, the Royals needed young pitching. Did Davies suck more often than not during his time with the Royals? Absolutely. Could the Royals have gotten more for Dotel? Perhaps. But this is the type of trade that you make in this situation, particularly if the GM has history with the player he is trading for, which Moore did with Davies. It is also worth noting that Dotel became injured almost immediately after this trade and was done for the year.
Dotel: -0.1 WAR with Braves (2007)
Davies: 0.9 WAR with Royals (2007-2011)
Royals win trade by 1.0 WAR
December 14, 2007: The Kansas City Royals traded Billy Buckner to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Alberto Callaspo.
Some may remember this trade being criticized at the time it was made. In December of 2007, Buckner was a 24 year old 2nd round pick who had just tasted his first big league action with the Royals that season. During that still sad time in Royals history, Royals fans were tricked into thinking that fringe prospects like Buckner were actually top prospects that should be worth far more than some career .220 hitting utility infielder with legal issues. Well, chalk one up for Dayton on this one. Callaspo came into his own with the Royals and has proven himself as a very reliable almost everyday player in the major leagues.
Buckner: -1.7 WAR with Diamondbacks (2008-2010)
Callaspo: 4.3 WAR with Royals (2008-midway through 2010)
Royals win trade by 6.0 WAR
So how did Dayton do in 2007? Overall, he ended up winning his deals by 3.5 WAR, mainly on the strength of the Callaspo trade. At this point in his tenure, Moore was just trying to find some under-appreciated players from organizations that could fill a role for the Royals. And in Callaspo and arguably Davies, he was able to do this without giving up much in return. And for those counting, counting, 3 of the 7 trades made in 2007 were with the Atlanta Braves.
Next week, we continue with our analysis as we move on to 2008.