Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grading Moore's offseason moves

This is a piece I did for Dugout Central, with some minor edits.

Traded Leo Nunez for Mike Jacobs

- I blasted this deal afterwards due solely to Jacobs .299 OBP last season. His OBP has gone down every year of his career and one has to wonder if he can reverse that trend. He hit 32 home runs last season which is why Dayton Moore traded for him. Moore chose to address their lack of power rather than trying to fix the teams woeful .320 OBP. One positive side effect to this trade is that KC will not have Ross Gload and his .348 slg pct get most of the starts at 1st base. Ryan Shealy, despite a great September (.301/.354/.603 7 HRs 20 RBIs in 20 games), seems to be the odd man out. Jacobs and Billy Butler will split the 1B/DH duties. Nunez is an effective reliever when healthy but that seems to be a constant issue with him.

B- I've actually come around to this trade lately and originally rated it a C- but after seeing various projections I'm bumping it up. That seems to put me in the minority among Royals bloggers but I'm okay with that.

Traded Ramon Ramirez for Coco Crisp

- This trade doesn't help the teams OBP either. Crisp would probably make an attractive #9 hitter where his .331 career OBP would play better but he most likely will bat leadoff. Davis DeJesus was already quite productive batting at the top of the lineup but Moore was neither impressed with DDJ's speed or defense. This year he will bat 3rd and play LF. Crisp does offer speed and defense but so did Joey Gathright. I understand the thinking behind this trade but contractually speaking I'm still mystified - they traded away four year of Ramirez for one year of Crisp (unless they exercise the 8 million dollar option for 2010 which I don't think they will). Ramirez was lights out for most of the year and combined with Joakim Soria to give a KC a great 1,2 punch in the late innings. He will be missed more than Nunez. This trade will result in Moore overreacting in finding Ramirez' replacement.


Signed Kyle Farnsworth to 2 year 9.25 million contract

- Words fail me. So many free agents unsigned and Farnsworth gets over 9 million, weird. Setting aside the fact that he hasn't been good since 2005 this is spending money just for spending's sake. This move really baffles, I have to believe there were better, cheaper options available (or in house - Tejeda? Rosa?) so Moore must have really coveted the power righty. I'd be curious to see what other offers were out there for Farnsworth. I would've rather KC went after Juan Cruz and forfeited their 2nd round pick in June's draft.

F Originally had it has a D- but this signing may be the one that kept KC from offering Orlando Hudson a more enticing contract.

Signed Doug Waechter to 1 year 640,000 contract

- Waechter will be a 6th or 7th inning option and since it's it not a huge investment KC will easily move on if it doesn't work out. The betting man in me is willing to wager that he has a better year than Farnsworth though.


Signed Horacio Ramirez to 1 year 1.8 million contract

- Ramirez (who nobody wanted this time last year) pitched well in relief for KC last season and then was traded to the White Sox for a marginal prospect (Paulo Orlando) where he typically imploded. His reward for failing miserably down the stretch in the heat of a pennant race was this contract. Probably not though, most likely Moore gave Ramirez 1.8 million because of the 24 innings he pitched reasonably well for the Royals before the trade. Moore has done this before - he gave Brett Tomko 3 million dollars last season due to 27 late season innings he pitched for the Padres in 2007. To make matters worse Moore hinted at the possibility of Ramirez being a part of the rotation. That will not end well (much like Tomko, 6.97 ERA).

F I went into this in more detail here.

Signed Willie Bloomquist to 2 year 3.1 million contact

- He's a six position sub who's weak on-base skills (impressive.377 last season but just .322 for his career) doesn't hurt as long as he is limited to less than 200 plate appearances. The money seems excessive but nothing to get worked up over. Pluses to this move include keeping the defensively challenged Esteban German from playing SS and the offensively challenged Tony Pena Jr. from playing at all.

C+ I didn't get worked up over this move like others though I understood their reasoning. If Bloomquist beats out Callaspo as the starting 2nd baseman then this move becomes a D-.

Resigned Miguel Olivo and John Buck

- Conventional wisdom would have dictated that when Moore resigned Olivo and promised him the starting catchers job that Buck would be on his way out. As a very annoying college football analyst would say, NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! The two players offer the same skill set - both bat right handed, marginal power, low OBP, lots of strikeouts. Keeping one and letting the contact oriented Brayan Pena backup would have made more sense.

D (I would have graded keeping just one a C)

Signed Zack Greinke to 4 year 38 million contract

- Moore salvaged his off season by keeping Greinke in Royal blue through 2012. Though not a free agent until after the 2010 season Greinke would have most likely been traded at some point in 2009 had extension talks broken down. He set career highs in just about everything in 2008 and is one of the top young pitchers in the American League.


As a whole I would give Moore a C+ for the off season. He really didn't do enough to address the teams OBP but may have figured that Butler/Gordon will improve and Guillen/Jacobs can't possibly be worse, and if that's his thinking I believe he may be right.


  1. I beg to differ. You forget the hiring of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer. He may have an impact on OBP throughout the team and could be key in the Royals actually having a chance to steal the Central.

  2. Yeah, but he still hasn't found himself a major-league manager.


    Until Hillman is replaced with someone who won't lose control of the clubhouse, make game decisions, and handle a pitching staff.

    Then a C due to his terrible personnel decisions.

  3. A coach can only do so much. Even the greats really don't have that many players to them. Charlie Lau--who other than Brett can we give him credit for? Hal Mac? Anyone else? Any entire teams ever say...I'm good because of this coach? The team's OBP will only change a point or two due only to the coach.

    And Seitzer deserved much more time with the Diamondbacks, yes, but what he did do with his time there was actually counter-productive.