The Kansas City Royals made a minor trade on Wednesday with the announcement that the team had traded pitcher Vin Mazzaro and first baseman Clint Robinson to the Pittsbugh Pirates for two minor league pitchers. Luis Rico and Luis Santos are both coming to KC in the deal and the hope is that they help bolster the low minors with promising arms for future returns.
In an evaluation of pitchers from this last season in the low minors, Pirates Prospects writer John Dreker says Luis Santos is the best of the arms at the age of 21. As for Luis Rico, he's not so impressed but Santos is the opposite. He writes:
Luis Santos seems to be the most likely (only?) of this group to have any shot of moving up with any success. He pitched in relief last year and showed a strong strikeout rate, which he improved on, pitching three times as many innings this year. He had a strong ground ball rate and was very hard to hit. He was invited to the Instructional League.
That is good news, of course, for the Royals to gain a live, young arm out to use out of the pen or the rotation. Developing as many young pitchers as possible is key for the organization's long-term success and it's clear that both Vin Mazzaro or Clint Robinson were not going to provide any real value for the team moving forward.