Why do I say that? We at MCB have been discussing the possibility of acquiring Giants erratic lefty Jonathan Sanchez with some enthusiasm, but now a deal is done and Sanchez is headed to Kansas City and not Detroit. The price wasn’t, in my estimation, all that high so one has to wonder if Dombrowski (or anyone else, really) was making a serious bid.
So… did the Royals part with one of their prized prospects like Wil Myers this time?
No, of course, not. As I already said, the price seemed low. What the Royals sent over was veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera. There was a tier-3 pitching prospect involved as well, but it was a guy (Ryan Verdugo) that San Francisco packaged with Sanchez and not a prospect that KC was forced to part with. Now, Cabrera had a pretty solid season by any measure in 2011 (.809 OPS, 2.9 WAR) – though his career to that point had been every bit as up-and-down as that of Jonathan Sanchez. San Fran definitely needed some offense, definitely didn’t need Sanchez – who wouldn’t even have been guaranteed a rotation spot in 2012 – and may have been looking, specifically, for a guy who could replace Andres Torres in center. Cabrera and Sanchez are roughly equivalent contractually, with both in their final year of arbitration and both projected to earn similar amounts. Note: the Royals added less than a million in payroll with this veteran acquisition. And improved the depth of their farm system. From my perspective, Cabrera was superfluous in KC like Sanchez was in SF – doing little more than holding Lorenzo Cain down. What’s more, this looks like a ‘canny move’ from the KC front office (something I don’t often say). Melky Cabrera is as likely to tank as any player in the bigs going into 2012 with an abnormally high BABIP combined with an abnormally high HR/FB rate in 2011.
As I wrote a few days ago: Tigers fans need to start paying attention to the Royals offseason – the team has signaled an intention to gear up for a pennant chase starting in 2012 and not 2013. We heard before that the team had blue chip prospects to spare and was looking to cash some in to improve the rotation. They didn’t give up any here, so they still have the currency reserves to make those moves.