Friday, June 26, 2009

Dayton Moore is Listening

Looks like the Royals are willing to listen to offers for "Non-Core" players. And I could not be happier. Non-Core basically means "Non-Greinke/Soria/Gordon/Butler/Meche". Which is great, because outside of those players, this team is horrible. I would love it if this team is absolutely blown up. Several contenders are looking for bullpen help, which the Royals could supply with Ron Mahay, Juan Cruz, and Jamey Wright. Teams looking for bullpen help include the Mets, Phillies and Angels. I think it would be interesting if we could start a bidding war with the Mets and Phils. And if the Phillies offer Jason Donald, then we have to pull the trigger. Donald, a AAA Shortstop who is blocked by Jimmy Rollins, could provide immediate impact at the Major League level. Philly inquired about Mahay last year, but I wonder if they were not ready to part ways w/ Donald. This year they may be desperate enough to move him.

On to the starting rotation. Kyle Davies has lost tons of value this year and I doubt anyone will bite unless they want to take on the KDP*. Brian Bannister has to intrigue several teams. I think he would be a great addition on a team seeking rotation help. The Yankees look like they need some help in their rotation, Sabathia could miss some time and Wang looks lost on the mound. Interesting returns could be CF Brett Gardner. Luke Hochevar is doubtfully being shopped, but he could have a high return, as teams usually don't like parting ways with 1st round picks on the ML roster. But I would be interested to see what some teams would be willing to part with for Hoch.

*Kyle Davies Project

Offensively, I would expect Mark Teahen to be high on a lot of teams' lists. The Cardinals are dying for a 3rd baseman. Would they be willing to part ways with SS Brendan Ryan? Ryan has had a great year (.308/.346/.411) and is pretty savvy with the glove. Miguel Olivo would probably interest most teams looking for a catcher with some pop. The Giants could be interested as could the Brewers. David DeJesus has to interest several people who are looking for OF help or even looking for a 4th OF.

Jose Guillen is a problem. He needs to be moved. Shouldn't be too easy though, unless a contender is looking for a malcontent who fields poorly, strikes out too much, has lost almost all of his power and can't run for $12 million dollars. If Guillen is moved, the Royals will have to eat a majority of his salary. $5-8 mil is my guess. He'll most likely be used as a bench player/4th OF in the NL, and a bench player/DH in the AL and I don't think too many teams would be willing to pay $12 million for that.

Either way, it should be a fun July as far as trades go!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brayan Pena vs. John Buck

I think it is a well known fact that John Buck has established himself as a career backup catcher. Which is a shame really. This is a guy who hit 18 home runs just 2 years ago. That was a great year for him. It was the year he introduced that high leg kick into his stance and drew a lot of power from it. We didnt see too much power outside of the homers though, Buck only posted an *OPS+ of 90 that year, 8 points above his career average. He really fell off after he got rid of the leg kick and I feel like he lost a lot of power and is still trying to get it back. Hey Bucky, why not bring it back???

*For newcomers: OPS+ is a stat that takes into account how a players On-Base + Slugging Percentage (OPS) compares to other batters in Major League Baseball. A good OPS+ is above 100. Ex: Tony Pena Jr.'s career OPS+ is 46, Albert Pujols is 172.

On to Brayan Pena. First off, I love this guy. He is all smiles and hey, he handles the bat well. He is a guy who has never really gotten a fair shot in the bigs. His career numbers in the minors aren't eye popping, but they aren't horrible either. His minor league career numbers:
.303 /.353 /.403 /.756
25 HR, 133 2B, 271 RBI over 9 seasons

Now, John Buck's career minor league numbers:
.271 /.339 /.431 ./770
64 HR, 142 2B, 351 RBI over 7 seasons

Now, John Buck has displayed more power over the years, but as far as being a pure hitter for contact, Brayan Pena is ahead of John Buck. Two guys with very similar numbers, one who has overstayed his welcome on the big league level, and one guy who has never gotten his shot. I think it is definitely time for the Royals to give Brayan Pena a fair chance.

As for Buck, he's an ok ballplayer. His problem does not lie in his offense, but rather his defense. Buck can't throw people out. He's got a plus arm, but his delivery is long. I haven't really gotten a chance to see B. Pena flash his arm, but it can't be worse than Buck's.

If we can get something in return for Buck, say a PTBNL, cash, or a low level pitcher, then I say pull the trigger. If not, then that leaves the Royals a tough choice. Give John Buck one last chance and risk sending Brayan Pena through waivers AGAIN this season? Or do we keep Brayan Pena in the backup role and send the longest tenured Royal packing?