We now sit just over a day from the July major league trade deadline and the only part of the Kansas City Royals roster that had been moved recently was third basemen turned pine rider Wilson Betemit who was traded to the Tigers for a pair of low minor league prospects.
It is very likely the fan in me who continually loves to see trades made and players moved that makes today a dissapointment. However as of Saturday afternoon the Royals are still 16 games below .500 and in desperate need of pitching arms for the rotation.
I am starting to come around and see why Kansas City General Manager Dayton Moore may be wanting to hold onto Melky Cabrera. I understand that. After an embarrassing season in Atlanta, Cabrera is putting together a fine .298/.333/.458 season with 13 home runs and 61 RBI. As it stands he is having a career high 3.3 WAR season.
However Moore continually waxes poetic about Jeff Francoeur who is hitting .271/.323/.458 with the same number of home runs and RBI as Cabrera. The offensive difference is Cabrera is on an upswing and showing promise, while Francoeur still continues to strike out at an alarming 16.6% rate. He may be a good clubhouse guy, but 25 great clubhouse guys isn't exactly going to put wins on the scoreboard.
Sure the return for Francoeur might not be the greatest thing in the world either, but if you can get a marginal starter for Frenchy it should be done. Look at what the Royals found on the scrap heap in Denver when they picked up Felipe Paulino from the Rockies.
Meanwhile in Omaha, Lorenzo Cain is batting .319/.390/.520 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI for the Stormchasers. Unfortunately he has faults as well, as he has a higher strikeout rate than Francoeur at the moment. But Cain also has a higher ceiling because of his range in centerfield. It would be addition by subtraction.
If you move Cabrera to right field and bring up Cain to cover center, you likely are a better defensive team because of it and you also would have an acquired player to fit in somewhere as well.
We all know what you get with having Jeff Francoeur on your ballclub, and right now that is a record that is 16 games below .500. I am not saying the Royals would find another Paulino type pitcher in a deal, but what is wrong with taking the risk if you know have a similar player in Omaha who is ready to answer the call and fill in.