I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day.
What looked just a couple of weeks ago like a disastrous roster move is starting to look like a resume builder.
Last off-season, Dayton Moore dealt away the National League’s second leading hitter and in exchange got a pitcher who posted a 7.76 ERA and a 2.044 WHIP. You really can’t do much worse than that trade.
But sometimes life is stranger than fiction.
Now the Royals have in their rotation one of the hottest pitcher in the game (with a chance to sign him to a contract extension) and the San Francisco Giants have… nothing.
For any of you who haven’t been paying attention, what transpired is this: KC traded Melky Cabrera after a bounce-back season, and acquired from the Giants Jonathan Sanchez and a minor leaguer named Ryan Verdugo.
The whole thing blew up in Moore’s face in a career-threatening manner. In short, Cabrera was great for the Giants, Sanchez was a complete disaster for KC.
Things couldn’t have gone any worse if the Royals were breaking mirrors and walking under ladders. But what happened next belongs on an episode of CSI.
Maybe the Royals were just due for some good luck. It seems every move they make flops. Every attempt to trade for pitching has proved a disaster (see a detailed list of such trades here).
The good luck came when the Colorado Rockies were actually willing to trade veteran starter Jeremy Guthrie for Sanchez. You think Rockies fans aren’t ticked off about that move? Bad as Sanchez was in KC, he’s been worse in hitter-friendly Colorado – 0-3 with a 9.53 ERA and a 2.294 WHIP. All Guthrie has done recently is throw 22 consecutive scoreless innings.
Cabrera’s saga, on the other hand, defies summation. Not only has he turned out to be a cheater, he’s turned out to be a creepy pharmacologist. He’s also become a despised new character in the juiced-ballplayer era. While there seems to be forgiveness for some of the dopers and enhancers of history, Cabrera seems to have no apologists.
After failing a drug test, Cabrera actually created an elaborate ruse to mislead investigators – what he did may turn out to be criminal. Cabrera is suspended for the rest of the season, and it’s hard to believe the Giants will want him back.
Perhaps Moore just got lucky. But we don’t know all that he was thinking when he traded Cabrera last November after the outfielder’s languishing career had a one-year renaissance.
Do you think maybe Moore suspected something was up with the resurgent Cabrera? Did he suspect Cabrera was doping while in KC? Or did he just think he was playing with house money and decided to move Cabrera before the bottom dropped out?
How Moore got Colorado to take Sanchez at all is remarkable. Maybe Guthrie’s luck will run out and it will wind up nothing more than a trade of two rotten pitchers.
But right now, Moore looks like a genius. Hollywood couldn’t produce a better script than what’s just taken place with Cabrera and Guthrie.