As today's trading deadline nears, I thought I might take a quick look at Dayton Moore's first real action since he sent J.P. Howell to Tampa Bay for Joey Gathwright.
To the uneducated observer, the motivation for Moore's moves may be hard to pin down, but I'm guessing that after he took over as general manager, he did a google search on the Royals farm system and found a page that looked like THIS.
What that list shows is that the best pitcher the Royals have drafted over the last ten years is probably David DeJesus, whose 7 outfield assists this year show the kind of velocity and accuracy that Jeremy Affeldt can only muster when he isn't allowed to pitch more than one inning at a time.
And so, Moore has jettisoned a couple of middling veterans (Tony G and Everyday Elmer) and one of our most oft-injured pseudo-superstars (Mac the Ninth) for the following collection of live arms:
Odalis Perez - 126, 127 ERA+ in '02 and '04. Needed out of LA in a bad way.
Blake Johnson - 3.33 ERA in A ball last year. 4.92 this year.
Julio Pimentel - Over a K an inning in A ball this year.
Jorge de la Rosa - A good track record in the minors. Hasn't put it together in the bigs yet.
Tyler Lumsden - Basically, J.P. Howell (A better ERA, but fewer strikeouts).
Daniel Cortes - A strikeout pitcher who's still learning the strike zone.
Hmm... seems like Moore thinks the team might need some pitching.
The Gathwright acquisition was mostly about defense (he also draws quite a few walks) and the Gotay for Keppinger swap was pretty much a crap shoot move. All of the trades from the past week have had one clear goal: improve the rotation in next year and 2008.
With big boppers like Billy Butler, Justin Huber and Alex Gordon waiting in the wings, this may be an exciting team to keep track of in the next couple of years.