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: Dec 12, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 8:50 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

It's my assumption that most of you who are berating the Giants' move of sending Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals for Cabrera, live outside of the Bay Area and are not really in tune with what Sanchez' is all about.  First, he has strikeout stuff.  Second, he's left-handed.  Third, he is still fairly young.  Fourth, he once pitched a no-hitter and he closed the final game of the regular season for the Giants last year.  There you have it.  All the positives.  Now the negatives.  If you can't pitch for Bruce Bochy and Dave Righetti, then you can't pitch for anybody.  There's a reason that those two have put together one of the best staffs in baseball and that hey have little or no trouble re-signing pitchers.  Sanchez REFUSED to change his pitching style, which includes horrendous control, saying that the walks were not that big of a problem and that his control problems were overblown.  Really?  Ask your fielders about that.  They're the ones that are standing there as you walk the bases loaded.  And whether you get out of the inning or not, your pitch count ruins a bullpen.  At the end of the year, Sanchez sprained his ankle.  When asked to pitch again, he REFUSED.  Tell me a player that is not banged up at the end of the season.  Ther is something to be said for "sacking up" and Sanchez, time and again REFUSED to do it.  At the end of his tenure with the Giants, Sanchez became surly and was anything but a "team" was pretty much all about Jonny.  Other pitchers spoke to him, management spoke to him, and he would listen to no one.  At the end of the season, Sabean tried to trade him right away.  Look at his positives, then ask yourself why it took that long for a young, left-handed starter that comes from the Giants, to be traded.  Also ask why the Giants had to throw in an extra player for the Royals to take him.  It doesn't make sense if he's that good.

Yeah, you got Sanchez, but in Giantsville it's viewed as "addition by subtraction".  For a season or two, you deal with the headaches, the frustrations and the walks that Sanchez provides, and tell me how the Giants got "screwed".  Sanchez had all the promise in the world.  In fact, he may still be great, but I doubt that it will happen in ballparks that are not as spacious as AT&T.  I think Sanchez will miss the park he used to call "home".  As for Melky...the guy is still only 28 years old.  He hasn't even reached thirty.  He was overhyped when he was younger because he was a Yankee...they always do that.  Perhaps, just perhaps, you gave away a guy who is on his way up.  Last year we took a chance on Ryan Vogelsong and that worked out okay.  Melky had a great year last year...hell, he would have led the Giants in many offensive categories!  Melky will fit right in in centerfield and also the Giants to get rid of the 5-6 mil that Sanchez was scheduled to make.  This allows for either Lincecum and Cain, real pitchers, to get more money, or for the Giants to get the good hitting FA that they need.  Anyone can pitch in the #5 spot and Sabean will find a pitcher in the Giants' minor league system that can do it or he'll sign a veteran FA to man that position.  Unfortunately, we always have Zito to fill that spot.  Enjoy Jonathan Sanchez, and wait a little while before making judgments on which team got may be surprised.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 5:41 pm

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.

Since: Mar 17, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 5:02 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency


I always have trepidation as a Giants fan
when Sabean makes trades with Giants pitching. (See Liriano and Nathan trade
for douche – AJ Pierzynski OR even last year’s trade for another douche –
Beltran for Wheeler. In this case though, Sanchez is such an annoying pitcher
with his walks, that I can take the upside potential of Cabrera. While I think
it’s a fair trade, I have a sneaking suspicion that given some time, the trade
will work out better for the G-Men. Thanks for the no-no though Sanchez.

Since: Nov 14, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2011 4:09 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

I just don't see Melky as value for the 2 pitchers given up. If it was straight up for Sanchez, then I could get behind it a little better, but  I don't think Melky's addition autimaticaly make the Giants a better hitting team, even on paper. I hope I am wrong, but I don't think his numbers will translate to the larger, pitcher friendly parks and pitching deepth of the NL West.

Since: Jul 29, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:19 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

With a good young nucleus (Hosmer, Moustakas, Gordon, Butler, Francouer) the Roylas can be competitive in the AL central if they add a SS and 2 SP's. They need to spend th money on these free agents. I think CJ Wilson would be a good addition. He is not a top 10 SP but he is in the next tier and WAY better than what KC has now. Don't waste the great young talents of Hosmer and Moustakas by marchng out subpar starters. 

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:37 am

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

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Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:49 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:21 am

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

The Royals did well.  Melky is an average player while Sanchez has the stuff to be an elite hurler.  You are telling me the Giants couldn't get more for Sanchez than Melky Cabrera on top of throwing in a propsect?  The Giants better get the big salary guys they are looking for otherwise this trade could turn out to be a really bad one for them.

As long as they stay away from paying average players elite money (Huff, Rowand, Zito) the Giants will be a competitive team. 

Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:38 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

C'mon, Evan...Wilson is going to cost money and the Royals don't spend on Free Agents. Last pitcher they signed was Meche and that was 5 years ago. And Meche was a warrior, but got used up as a #3 starter forced to be #1 for 3 years. I've been following the pitching prospects for a while here, and I'm not so sure there's a 'devastating' rotation on the way. Montgomery didn't come along as expected. Duffy should make it, though not at the top end. And the sooner Hochevar takes his 5 (FIVE) lifetime ERA to the Astros the better. So, what, is Aaron Crow the ace or is it Sanchez? Either way, it still doesn't look right. Looks to me like a whole bunch of #3-#5 starters.

Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:39 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

I think Brian Sabean just pulled another one of his famous moves...buying high and selling low.  If only Melky was 38 years old then it would have been a classic Sabean.  Nice trade for the Royals as Melky will flounder back in the NL and his lack of defensive prowess will look bad in the big outfield in SF.

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