Blog Entry

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:51 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 4:01 pm

By Evan Brunell

Both the Giants and Royals addressed areas of need in a swap that sent Melky Cabrera to San Francisco in exchange for Jonathan Sanchez. And, on the surface, the deal will also allow both sides to strengthen their ability to sign high-ticket free agents. Though inside sources say the Giants may not have as much financial clout as it appears.

Now that San Francisco has brought in Cabrera, the club has crossed off one item on their to-do list and cleared up a logjam in the rotation. While the Giants may still yet pursue additional outfield help, it has more money to work with to address the club's most glaring need: shortstop. The position was a black hole last season, and with no semblance of help arriving soon from the minors, the club has to play in free agency for a shortstop. It's uncertain, though, as to whether they could pick up the price tag of a Jose Reyes (pictured), Jimmy Rollins or even a Rafael Furcal.

It's simple economics. The Giants' three top priorities this offseason was to find two outfielders and a shortstop. Now they've found one outfielder without bumping their payroll up. Instead of having a certain amount of dollars to spread among three areas of need, now it's between two areas of need. And, on the bright side, the Giants will be freed from the expiring contracts of Aubrey Huff (free agent after 2012), Aaron Rowand (who has already been released, but is still due $13.6 million in 2012) and Barry Zito (done after 2013 with a $7 million buyout in 2014).

Hot Stove Season
The Royals also benefit from this deal, but in a different way. If Kansas City wants to be taken seriously by free agents, it has to show a commitment to improving the club. While the club did delete Cabrera from the team, they opened up center field for prospect Lorenzo Cain, who was part of the Zack Greinke trade prior to the 2011 season. Where the major improvement comes is in the rotation, which had the fourth-worst rotation in baseball last season with zero upside. When Luke Hochevar starts on Opening Day, there's a problem.

Sanchez's arrival will deepen the rotation, which you can bet free agents will notice. C.J. Wilson may be one such person, who will attract attention from many teams as one of the top starters on the market. Kansas City is expected to be involved, and the acquisition of Sanchez should help Wilson be more confident in the direction the Royals are taking. Wilson can look ahead at the incoming crop of elite pitching prospects and see the potential for a deep, devastating rotation. The Royals can also entice Wilson or another pitcher to town by contending that the acquisitions of two starters will allow the team to trade some of its minor-league pitching talent to further bolster the club, which GM Dayton Moore has alluded to be working toward.

Incidentially, my free-agency predictions had Reyes to the Giants and Wilson to the Royals. After this trade, these predictions are looking more and more realistic.

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Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:23 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

The Giants are going to bat Melky what, 2nd or 3rd... they do realize he only had 35 walks in 658 ABs last year right, did they not watch Moneyball?... on the other hand, the "stellar" year sanchez had in 2010 was immulated by bumgarner and voglesong, it's the park dummies... they swapped question marks... who cares.. seems like a good trade for both sides.

Since: Apr 25, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:12 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

Finally, a comment that makes sense. I am die hard Giants fan. Everything you said is right. I was a huge Sanchez supporter but all of last year was terrible. Ever since he imploded in the playoffs, Sanchez has just been topsy turvy. The only real argument I see everyone making is based on Sabean making bad deals in the past. That's fine I guess. It's a very uneducated argument but thats fine. Of course Sanchez still has potential. DUh! Isn't that how most trades work? Each team gets either a person who is somewhat proven or someone with potential? But like you said, Sanchez didn't work with one of the best pitching coaches in the league. Good luck in KC. I only wish (in hind sight) that we traded Sanchez at the beginning of this season. Oh well, hopefully we get some SS help because Crawford isn't ready yet. As for the outfield, I hope we resign Beltran because that trade is way more important to me. We gave up Zach Wheeler and (unlike Sanchez ) he hasn't had the chance to spoil much of his potential.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:27 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

Typical Evan Brunell. Clueless.

Melky Cabrera is coming off a career year. He never has been anything other than a good 4th OF. He's put on weight and is a horrendous CF. If he plays there in 2012, he will replace Angel Pagan as the worst CF in the NL and maybe MLB. He's clueless.
Cabrera will be this years Angel Pagan. A good back-up/fill-in player coming off his best year, now having to fulfill higher expectations. He will be a flop. Has anyone seen his numbers before 2011? Check them out. That's the real Melky.

Who did they give up? A 20-something lefty who is very capable of winning 13-15 games every year and he may even better that. Even on a rotation rich team like SF, you can use him as a #4 or #5. If you are going to deal him, you can't do better than Melky Cabrera?
The Giants could have taken a flyer on Grady Sizemore or even signed cross-town rival Coco Crisp without losing Sanchez, then dealt him for a 1B man(if Posey doesn't play there), 3B man, 2B man or SS(If they don't sign Reyes). 

This was a steal for KC. They get a starter they desperately need. Last year Bruce Chen was their ace. Bruce Chen. Now they have Sanchez and can hope their young pitchers come around. They may even go after Wilson or Buehrle. They'll move Lorenzo Cain to CF immediately improving their defense at worst. Get a lefty with great potential and give up a journeyman? No-brainer there.

The Giants dealt a top pitching prospect in Zach Wheeler(currently rated the Mets #1 ahead of Matt Harvey) for a DL-ridden, unclutch hitter in Carlos Beltran, who saw his team go from 5 up when acquired to 6 down at one point in the pennant race. He also missed over 10 games with an injury most MLB players would play through in a pennant race. When he returned and his team was almost gone, then and only then did he get "hot." Too little too late, for the bat-holding, 3rd strike taking Beltran. Now they deal for Melky Cabrera?
On top of that, they trade a 20-something lefty who the year before was showing great promise? Has Sabean lost his mind?

If SF doesn't sign Reyes or add more offense, they will be hard-pressed to win the NL West with a young and tough D-Bax team and a talented and perhaps less financially strapped Dodgers team. The Rockies will also rebound. Melky Cabrera does little/nothing to help them. In fact, it may make them worse. They have less rotation depth and have a player who could be the Jose Uribe of 2012.

Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: November 10, 2011 11:41 am

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

I'd love to see the Giants sign Reyes...he'd provide a huge upgrade at SS and would give them a much-needed leadoff hitter.  One statement I'd slightly disagree with...that the Giants had no semblance of help from the minors.  Brandon Crawford looked great in the field...but struggled at the plate.  He's at the Arizona Fall League, working on that.  It'd arguably help him to have a vet like Reyes to learn from.  Another vet already on the Giants is Jeff Keppinger...he's played 3B, SS and 2B in his career.  He could become a very valuable player for Bruce Bochy.

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:00 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

If Melky can somewhat duplicate last year then the trade will make sense for the Giants.

So having said that, the trade does not and will not make sense for the Giants.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:08 am

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

Wow....worst trade ever...congrats Royals, was Sabean drunk??  he must have been, only explanation for this.

A team absolutely, madly desperate for offense. Not a Giants fan, but I watched the team a lot this year..and it was a struggle for the whole season to put runs on the board.The Giants could be a contender for years simply off there pitching alone, adding some offense will really put them over the hump....but on the other end of thing's, Cabrera isn't quite the answer. My guess it is one small move leading up to some bigger moves. 

I mean Lincecum was 13-14 , 2.74 era , 217 innings pitched... 

Matt Cain was 12-11 , 2.88 era , 221 innings pitched... 

Even Bumgarner had decent #'s , and there was the great season by Vogelsong... when you have all these starters giving you good innings, doing there job..and your still losing, something is wrong. 

Can't see Cabrera repeating what he did last year though. 

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:50 am

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

Really?? worst trade ever? are you new to baseball? This trade was worth the risk by both teams. Kc needed a a lefty in the rotation with potential and the Giants needed a hitter with some speed in the outfield. Both players were expendable. Seemed likes a fair trade.

Red Sox send Jeff Bagwell to Houston for reliever Larry that was a bad trade...

Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:53 pm

Oustanding trade by KC!!

first:young and Lh starters are not easy to find..SF could have obtained more than Cabrera
second:the pitching style of Sanchez is well-suited for AL..he'll attack hitters and have many K's..surely he's not Sabathia but could have a future in Kc...
third:KC send to Sf an average player like Melky who had cleary the carrer season in a big market he always failed...
so Royals pay for a some-risky LH starter(with high K's rates) a 4th or 5th Oufielder(another Rowand!!!!!!...bring on after a carrer year!)..
historically SF had terrible managment decision about roster..and the trend is unstoppable 
 hey GUYS!!!!! $40 mil a year for Zito, Huff and Rowand......

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:43 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

Somebody arrest the Royals GM!! He raped the Giants on this one . . .they get Jonathan Sanchez out of it. A good lefty (which is hard to come by) that had a 3.07 ERA in 2010. He k's like 9 batters per 9 IP. Control is his biggest issue.
Uh, yes, it is.  detrOittigs, I'm no fan of the Midgets, and I certainly don't consider Cabrera a difference maker.  But Sanchez hasn't been making much of a difference for a while now, and I don't think it was all because of this year's injury.  He hasn't been able to find the plate since before the 2010 playoffs.

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 9:10 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

I think this trade helps niether team, both teams should be going younger and stick with it Sanchez will get Blasted in the al.  and Cabrera goes back to not hitting in nl   I like C.J.  going to the Yankees because he's a lefty but has to pitch better in playoffs get the ball down and in stay off the outside of plate to many hitters going the other way against him on 0-2 pitches and 3-2 counts . Has to learn to stay in strike zone in games that mater in October?

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