The Kansas City Royals today picked up the power lefty that they’ve lacked in the rotation with a masterstroke of a trade that brought over Jonathan Sanchez and then some for centerfielder Melky Cabrera. And in doing so, Royals GM Dayton Moore not only addressed the team’s greatest need with a surplus but he also undermined any notion that he can’t make a successful move when it comes analyzing major league personnel. In short, this trade is an absolute steal for the Royals and significantly bolsters the team moving forward.
Much is made of Sanchez’s amount of walks, but he allows fewer hits than almost any other pitcher in baseball (besides Clay Kershaw of the Dodgers) and he’s a power pitcher who can take out any hitter with his mix of pitches at any point.
Cabrera had a fantastic season — a career year, no doubt — but the presence of 25 year old Lorenzo Cain behind him in the minors. The Royals line-up might miss a step moving from one player to the other, but what happened here is a case of the Royals selling high and cashing in at the perfect time. Cabrera had career highs in hits, steals, average, homers and doubles and there’s no guarantee he can do that again. It comes at a position on the field and place in the line-up where the Royals have wiggle room and in exchange, they get a guy who can anchor the rotation.
This is exactly the kind of move the Royals needed to make and they get a pitcher who has deep playoff experience in the process. This is nothing less than a masterstroke of a trade and charts the Royals on an ideal offseason course.