Royals Get Rid Of Yuniesky Betancourt

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Kansas City is, obviously, a team with many flaws. They do need quantity over quality, within reason. I can’t really be against the idea of the trade on those grounds. I’ve made the connection a few times already between the 2011 Royals and the 2003 Tigers, and I’ll do it one more time here. The biggest thing that set us up for that miserable season (aside from a lot of risky prospects that didn’t pan out) was the Jeff Weaver trade. We got Bonderman, we got German and we got Carlos Pena. Obviously, we can see in retrospect that Jeff Weaver was not half the pitcher Zack Greinke is now – but back then a lot of us thought he was. At the time, that was a megadeal involving a young Cy-Young caliber pitcher. I can’t complain about our haul, either. Weaver fell apart, and Bonderman and Pena have had somewhat successful major league careers. Still they didn’t contribute immediately, and they never quite fulfilled the high ceilings we might have hoped. This is a deal a bit like that. Our German walked a batter an inning in 2003, but we still let him throw 44 2/3 (and give us -0.8 WAR). Maybe their German will work out better… Our Bonderman was rushed to the majors and – even though he was arguably our best starter – gave us -1.1 WAR on 2003. Maybe their Bonderman will work out better…  Our Pena wasn’t horrible in 2003, with a .772 OPS and (barely) positive WAR – but we expected better from a first baseman who was once BAs #5 prospect in all of baseball.  Maybe their Pena(s) will work out better…

I wouldn’t bet on it, though.  There is the distinct possibility that not only will the Royals fans miss that celebratory Greinke Day once a week, these four players will be downgrades at their positions for KC relative to what they got from those positions last year.  KC could lose 100, or more.  Sure, they’ve got Butler – but I’d be surprised if he hit better than Dmitri Young did along the way to 119 losses.