Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trading Greinke

Dealing established stars for prospects used to be the bane of a Royals fan existence so I'm just a little surprised to see so many wanting Greinke to get moved (some even want Soria dealt too). I appear to be in the minority when it comes to KC dealing Greinke this winter though I understand why others think this is necessary. Maybe he won't be part of the next competitive Royals team and maybe prospects the Royals get in return help speed up the rebuilding process, maybe, maybe, maybe. KC has been down this road before and here they sit after another 90+ loss season.

Reports are that Moore has to be blown away by an offer but let's be honest, it doesn't exactly take much to wow him and he does have a fetish for defensively challenged low OBP guys. So in theory a Greinke could trade could help KC but if done wrong it could set the rebuilding process back. And my money is not on Moore getting back equal or greater value.

But that's not why I'm against Greinke getting dealt. I'll give you three reasons, no I take that back, I'll give you twelve.
  • Rick Anderson (47 IP, 61 ERA+)
  • Mauro Gozzo
  • Ed Hearn (39 PA's, 91 OPS+)
  • David Sinnes
  • Tony Medrano
  • Chris Stynes (134 PA's, 56 OPS+)
  • Gregg Jefferies (657 PA's, 103 OPS+)
  • Kevin McReynolds (838 PA's, 105 OPS+)
  • Keith Miller (614 PA's, 85 OPS+)
  • Jeff D'Amico (13.2 IP, 56 ERA+)
  • Brad Rigby (29.2 IP, 53 ERA+)
  • Blake Stein (355.2 IP, 99 ERA+)
That, my friends, is the entire haul the Royals received for trading David Cone (twice), Bret Saberhagen, and Kevin Appier. This collection of garbage is all KC received for trading arguably the three best starting pitchers in franchise history. A lot of good has been done in the minors since Moore arrived but his moves at the major league level have been less than inspiring. This is pretty much a unanimous consensus so if he's asking for major league ready talent in return for Greinke, well, that worries me.

Moore's strategy of loading the farm system with potential superstars while simultaneously acquiring below average talent for the major league team may still payoff, in fact I'm almost certain it will. As long as Moore stops signing turds (for lack of a better word) 2012 and beyond should be entertaining for Royals fans. Hopefully next season will be the springboard to competitiveness making a Rangers/Giants type turnaround imminent.

Here's a little three year comparison to this years World Series participants with their respective payrolls in parenthesis (courtesy of Cot's).

Year Royals Rangers Giants
2008 75-87 (58,245,500) 79-83 (67,712,326) 72-90 (76,594,500)
2009 65-97 (70,519,333) 87-75 (68,178,798) 88-74 (82,616,450)
2010 67-95 (74,985,210) 90-72 (64,810,570) 92-70 (96,277,833)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Projections vs reality

Some of you may recall that back in March I tried my hand at projecting some players offensive numbers so now I thought it'd be interesting to see how my inner-Nostradamus fared. I didn't do too well which is why I guess such things are left to the more mathematically gifted. I didn't project Aviles because I forgot about him or Kila because I thought he wouldn't see any time in KC. I also didn't project playing time because honestly that would have taken more thought than I was willing to give it. So here's what I did do.

Jason Kendall
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 2 38 6 .249 .320 .325 .645
Actual 0 37 12 .256 .318 .297 .615

I actually wasn't too far off on Kendall but that's just because he's been so consistent in his mediocrity. His OPS the last four years (.610 .651 .636 .615) are a head turner in that he stunk but also averaged 529 plate appearances a season.

Billy Butler
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 24 90 1 .295 .365 .505 .870
Actual 15 78 0 .318 .388 .469 .857

Butler had an odd year but a good year. I think a lot of people focused entirely too much on the double plays* and missed the fact that his SO% (15.3 to 11.5) decreased while his BB% increased (8.6 to 10.2). His OPS+ of 134 was the highest by a Royal since Mike Sweeney's 148 way back in 2002. He didn't take the step forward power-wise that I thought he would but I didn't foresee the 26 point jump in his OBP% either.
*Butler became the fourth player since 1901 to hit into 30+ double plays while having an OPS+ of 130 or higher, the other three are all hall of famers (Ernie Lombardi 1938, Dave Winfield 1983, Jim Rice 1983). 

Yuniesky Betancourt
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 8 45 2 .260 .305 .380 .685
Actual 16 78 2 .259 .288 .405 .692

I guess missing his OPS by 7 points is pretty good but I didn't see 16 home runs coming at all. He is still a terrible baseball player, despite the many man crushes that fans developed after one of his grand slams (little bro I'm looking at you).

Alex Gordon
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 21 75 15 .270 .355 .468 .823
Actual 8 20 1 .215 .315 .355 .671

Predicting a Gordon breakout has become a spring tradition for me. I suppose I'll eventually be right but it's possible he won't be a Royal when/if it finally happens.

David Dejesus
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 10 62 7 .285 .351 .430 .781
Actual 5 37 3 .318 .384 .443 .827

A fluke injury derailed the best season of DDJ's career and cost Moore a potential trading chip. The guy seems to be under-rated every year and, yes, I was guilty of it too. His career 108 OPS+ ranks 7th among Royals with 3500+ PA's.

Willie Bloomquist
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 2 22 15 .273 .323 .340 .663
Actual 3 17 8 .265 .296 .388 .684

My newest goal in life is to never type the name Willie Bloomquist again. Starting now.

Scott Podsednik
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 3 50 32 .277 .336 .375 .711
Actual 5 44 30 .310 .353 .400 .753

He had a much better season than I thought he would. That's all I have to say about that.
Jose Guillen
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 8 41 0 .255 .310 .383 .693
Actual 16 62 1 .255 .314 .429 .743

I think it's sometimes easy to forget what 12 million dollars looks like. Soak it in!

Brayan Pena
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 5 31 0 .285 .338 .432 .770
Actual 1 19 2 .253 .306 .335 .642

After being virtually ignored the first five months of the season Pena hit .309/.349/.432 in 86 September PA's. Managerial-misplaced faith in an aging and ineffective Kendall robbed Pena of what could have been a fine season.
Chris Getz
HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Projection 4 47 21 .274 .329 .378 .707
Actual 0 18 15 .237 .302 .277 .579

Getz had an awful year which had the nice side effect of resurrecting the career of Mike Aviles. I expect Aviles to start at second base next year with Getz in a utility role.

I never got around to projecting pitchers, good thing too because I would've missed bad on Greinke and Hochevar.