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: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:34 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

It's pointless to look at this (or any) trade as if it's a competition. All that matters is whether or not the team is better making the trade than they are not making the trade, and, as the author stated, this trade helps both teams right now. The only question would be if there was an option to make a trade that would have helped more than this trade. Was there? Can somebody provide some evidence to substantiate this, if so?

Looking at this as a Giants fan, Sanchez's only value at this point was in what he could bring in trade. They badly needed a decent hitter, and if Cabrera can produce anything remotely close to what he did last year then he'll be an upgrade, regardless what Sanchez does in KC. As far as Sanchez having another season like he did in 2010, the Giants already have 3 starting pitchers who can do even better, and in spite of this those pitchers only won about half their starts last year. It made little sense to hang on to him and hope he could have another 3.07 ERA, meanwhile the Giants losing his starts 2-1 and 3-2 because of no hitting.

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 8:33 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

Somebody arrest the Royals GM!! He raped the Giants on this one...hard.

And think about it from a Royals perspective...they signed a guy coming off a .250 4 HR 42 RBI season in over 500 PA and one year later 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. Sanchez had a bad year last year, but I think he will bounce back.

This is a perfect example of selling high on the Royals part. And Giants took a chance on Melky.

Advantage ROYALS.

Since: Aug 10, 2010
Posted on: November 7, 2011 6:14 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

Man I wish the yanks would have kept the Melk man, but good trade allaround

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: November 7, 2011 5:59 pm

Trade will help Giants, Royals in free agency

First off, I think it's a good trade for both teams.  Sanchez gets a fresh start as a #2 or 3 starter, with less pressure to be the guy behind Lincecum and Cain.  For the Giants, if Cabrera performs like he did for KC, and not the Cabrera who phoned it in while in Atlanta, they have their CF for the next few years.

That said, with the balance of that lineup, I seriously doubt that they'll try to sign Reyes, my thought was they'd be happy to take on more of a Rafael Furcal than Reyes.  Furcal is more the vet, and would come at a drastically reduced cost when compared to Reyes.

And I still think CJ returns to Texas, albeit with more money than ever, thanks to the Yankees making a Godfather like offer to him.  I go for the home team discount, and see him returning to the Rangers.

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