Thursday, October 30, 2008

A few thoughts on Jacobs

I was talking with a friend today about the Mike Jacobs trade and he brought up an interesting point. Jacobs, who won the Sterling Award in 2003 as the top minor league player in the Mets organization, came through the minors as a catcher. He switched to first base as a rookie in 2005 due to, of course, mediocre defensive skills behind the plate.

Would the Royals dare to re-convert him to catching and keep first base open to Shealy, Butler, Ka'aihue? How about the outfield? Would they dare move him to a corner outfield position?

I'm assuming Jacobs will remain at first.

Obviously, no team needs four first basemen, especially when a team decides to carry 12 pitchers. Add a couple utility players and suddenly there's just not enough room on the bench.

I still feel this was a great move by Dayton Moore and is for the good of the organization.

Look, while it would probably be a mistake to trade Butler right now, at least one, probably two, of those four guys will need to be traded before the start of the year. My guess is unless Shealy or Jacobs moves to the outfield then it is Shealy who is the odd man out. This seems strange to me, however. Shealy really seemed to catch Trey Hillman's eye last September - and for good reason. I would think he did enought to warrant a shot at making the team this year.

Butler is dedicated to get in better shape and could really enhance his stock if he trims down and bulks up a little bit this offseason. Plus, he's a projected slugger who is just trying to break in at just 22 years old. Ka'aihue will be the starting first sacker at Omaha this year.

Don't worry about Ross Gload. Unless he's your utility guy (there's worse options out there), he's gone. Teahen seems the odd man out as well. I'll have more posts on this in the next few days. Right now there's just so much to figure out with this one.

Royals get Jacobs

As I speculated earlier this week, the Royals worked hard and hammered out a deal for Florida 1B Mike Jacobs. Reliever Leo Nunez is the Royal on the move.

Jacobs, who hit .249 with 32 homers this year did strike out over 100 times last season. However, the 28 year old slugger provides the team with the much needed "sock" they have been so desperately needing for several years.

Nunez, while he has shown the potential to be a dominant pitcher, was injured for a great deal of '08 and was a guy Dayton Moore feels like he can replace in the 'pen. Rosa will probably get a pretty good shot at replacing Nunez this spring.

Also, as I said earlier this week, the player the Royals originally wanted to send to the Marlins was indeed RHP Carlos Rosa. However, the Marlins backed out with concerns that Rosa's arm may not be healthy - the Royals strongly disagree with this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Something to add about the Guillen-for-Castillo rumors

After searching for answers about the Jose Guillen for Luis Castillo rumors that were floating about recently, I have come to the conclusion that if there were conversations for a swap they happened PRIOR to June of '08 and WILL NOT be opened back up this winter like some thought.

When I was first brought to light on this rumor I admit I had to laugh and silently wonder how the hell any team would make a trade like that. It obviously sounded foolish then and it still does.

But hey, I report what I hear and let you guys tell me what you think. I'm just glad to see you all were with me on this one. My sources say we can be confident in laying this one to rest.

Moore denies Teahen discussions

Despite whispers coming from sources in both organizations, Royals GM Dayton Moore has vehemently denied reports that he is shopping Royals outfielder Mark Teahen to the Cleveland Indians.

In fact, Moore called it a "flat-out lie" on the Royals website today and added "you can print that" as well. Wow. Sounds like the guy really has a point to make. This is kind of strange.

Maybe he should talk to the front office staff at Kauffman and over in Cleveland to find out how this could be leaked from BOTH organizations and not have any truth.

I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Again, very strange.

Royals eyeing 1B Jacobs

The Royals and Florida Marlins were in serious discussions this week about a trade involving first baseman Mike Jacobs - a player I have openly been lobbying for the past few months.

The Marlins have 16 players eligible for arbitration this year and Jacobs is one of them. For a team who is planning on going into 2009 with a payroll not exceeding $36MM you see why they are trying to trade him and starting pitcher Scott Olsen.

Look, I understand we already have a logjam at first and a lot of you guys think it would be a wise decision to not do anything and see what we have with Butler, Ka'aihue and Ryan Shealy. I respect those opinions and can certainly see why there is some optimism that at least one of those guys will pan out.

Here's my dilemma. With Jacobs you know what you already have. A big left handed swinging first sacker who will hit .255 and smack 30 homers a year. This year the 28 year old hit .249 with 32 homers in just his third full season in the big leagues.

A lot of people were lobbying to sign Adam Dunn - isn't this a similar player you can get on the cheap????

To be quite honest, we're still waiting on Shealy and Butler to produce. This organization can't bank too much confidence in Ka'aihue's one STELLAR year in the minors. Though I think all three have an opportunity to really hit, you just can't cross your fingers and risk losing a year of progress if you can get better TODAY.

If this team is going to move forward and compete for the playoffs, they can't wait on players to hit or miss anymore. That's what this organization has done for way too long, and that's why it was in such shambles when Moore's regime took over.

For now, any deal the teams had in place appears to have fallen apart. It went as far as trading medical charts and there were injury concerns to a young Royals pitching prospect that would have been in the deal. Understandably, the Marlins backed out. It is my belief that pitcher was Carlos Rosa.

Still, you can't knock Moore for making a strong push to add power to this lineup. Suddenly, with a guy who has pop like Jacobs possesses in the lineup, this team may strike some fear when they step to the plate.

Look for the Royals to re-visit this deal and work hard to get something done.

Looking for trades in unloving places

Dayton Moore is running up the long distance phone bill at Kauffman already this offseason. News broke over the past couple of days about the Royals in 'serious' discussions with not only the Florida Marlins about first baseman Mike Jacobs (I'll have another post on this), but also with the Cleveland Indians in a deal that would send Mark Teahen to the Central division foes.

I just don't really know what we would accomplish by sending Teahen to Cleveland unless it's for Ben Francisco. All the Indians targets that we would receive are suspect hitters themselves. Francisco is probably the best hitter of the group. As a rookie this year he hit .266 with 15 homers, 32 doubles, and 52 RBI. That's the guy I'm demanding if I'm Dayton Moore, but still, you don't know what the kid will be. His hitting was hampered by the fact he hit nearly the entire year in the three hole as a rookie due to injuries.

He was as out of water as when Mark Grudzielanek was hitting in the three-hole earlier this year.

I wouldn't trade Teahen for Franklin Gutierrez. He hit just .248 with 26 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 41 RBI and, like Teahen, is 27 years old. He is a great defensive outfielder but does very little with the bat.

Doesn't Teahen already do this? That's the thing for me. Why do we want to trade left handed hitting Mark Teahen for right handed hitting Mark Teahen?

Also in the mix is minor league outfielder Trevor Crowe - the Indians' switch-hitting 2005 first round draft pick. He hit just nine dingers between AA and AAA this year, though his average was above .300. He would be a good player to get.

All three of the mentioned players play center field. If a deal is done Royals insiders say David DeJesus would move to left field immediately. Probably a good move.

By the way, Indians fans aren't happy about this at all. Apparently, very few of them like Teahen and are beginning to sound like angry Chiefs fans. Read what they have to say here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

In time for election season...THE POLL IS BACK!

Yes, that's right. After months of waiting, Blogspot has finally fixed the technical glitch that was affecting the poll and I was able to take down the old and add a new one! So vote away!

Sources: Royals have had discussions to send Guillen to NY

According to sources, the Royals and Mets have been in trade discussions aimed at a swap for disgruntled veterans Jose Guillen and Luis Castillo.

Castillo, a switch-hitting second baseman and 3-time All-Star, has not been the fuzziest of characters since he arrived in New York as a free agent in '08. Much ado with Guillen in Kansas City. The only real problem here is that Castillo - who is no where near the slugger Guillen is - is coming off a year in which he hit .245/3 HR/ 28 RBI in just 87 games. Some positives on Castillo is that, while he is 33 years old, he swiped 17 bases and walked 50 times compared to just 35 strikeouts. His OBP was .355 (something Dayton Moore would like) and he carried an OPS of 77.

If the deal was indeed a straight up swap the Royals would save $6MM in 2009, but would end up seeing a $6MM cap hit in 2011. Guillen has two years and $24MM remaining while Castillo has three years with $16MM owed.

Castillo, you may remember, spent time in the AL Central in '06-'07 as a member of the Minnesota Twins. Before that he spent 12 years in the Florida Marlins organization where he had the best year of his career in 2003 at age 27 when he hit .314 with 6 homers and made the All-Star team.

For the record, his six homers in '03 was the most dingers he's hit in a single season in his career.

Apparently, the two teams had strong discussions about making this deal before the trade deadline in June, but couldn't pull the trigger at the time and decided to re-open discussions this winter. Don't expect the Royals to make a sudden move with Guillen, however. They likely will pan the rest of the trade market before going out on a limb to get rid of him.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dayton prefers trades more than Free Agency

The Royals may not make much of a splash in the free agent market this year afterall. Oh, but there WILL BE change. Instead of signing high-priced players that are generally flawed, Moore is saying he prefers to do some wheeling and dealing instead.

Not saying he won't be active in Free Agency, but who is out there that really stands out this year anyways?

Already GMDM has began his quest to make this team better by calling around to other teams this week to see what tradeable pieces may be available. It is likely Moore has also discussed potential Royals he would make available to those teams as well, though it is unlikely he has gone into any major discussions about the 'who-for-who' details.

This is the time of year when teams begin getting their 'feelers' from around the league to set up potential winter deals. Moore remains tight-lipped about the Zack Greinke situation and it appears he will at least dangle his name to teams and see whether the youngster would be more valuable on this team or on an airplane to another city. It also is likely both John Buck and Miguel Olivo are being discussed to some extent with teams looking to add a catcher.

I won't be posting as often as I was during the season. I know I haven't been the most loyal blog host the past couple of weeks, but forgive me please...I got married and had been stowed away on our honeymoon. Well, now that's over so it's back to business!!!