Tuesday, May 31, 2005

So It Is Written, So It Shall Be...

Wild thought here. Feel free to shoot me down.

I got two fave teams: San Francisco Giants, Kansas City Royals. Giants in trouble this year, Royals going nowhere. Giants needing help, Royals having a player that could actually help.

I propose a trade. Again, it's a bit off the wall, but hear me out...

Mike Sweeney to the Giants for...heck, I dunno. How 'bout Todd Linden and Lance Niekro?

There's a bevy of problems inherent in this, but I'm going to try and see if I can solve them, or ignore them:
  • Sweeney's salary - the Royals know they're headed for well over 100 losses whether or not Sweeney's there. He makes 11 million now, with a clause that gives him a 1.5 million raise if he's traded. I'm certain the Royals would pay at least half of that, if not more, and I'm also certain Sweeney would waive the raise clause, because he'd be so happy to be able to play in California (he's got SoCal family).
  • Sweeney's injury history - 'kay, here's where I ignore stuff. He does have the 2nd most at-bats on the Royals this season, though, so he really hasn't missed much time. The time he did miss, however, was back-related. This really is the biggest hurdle, but with a host of late-30's players on his roster, Sabean's got to be intimate with injury risks by now.
  • Sweeney's absolute lack of defensive skills - hm, again, ignore stuff. This is why I'd trade Niekro and not J.T. Snow, because Niekro could add to the Royals young nucleus, and Snow could spell Sweeney against right-handed pitching and come in as a defensive replacement, both of which could help lower Sweeney's injury risk. But make no mistake, we'd all groan seeing Sweeney in the field. The bat makes up for it, though...
  • What to do with Sweeney in 2006? I haven't a clue, but Sabean always has been a don't-worry-bout-the-horses-just-load-the-wagon kind of guy, so I'll shrug this one off.

Now, usually I'm the very last person to do trade proposals, because 99.9% of the time people do them, they're wrong. I'm very likely to be wrong, here, but I do think this is something that could really help both teams out, provided Sweeney stays healthy. But think of that .308/.350/.533, 9 home run, 35 RBI bat in the Giants lineup, and think that he's playing in a pitcher's park already in Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City -- so those numbers do translate (unlike Moises Alou's Wrigley-inflated numbers from 2004). Sweeney also hits right-handed pitching decently, running an OPS over .800 against them this season, and a stellar .928 OPS against righties over the last three seasons -- a right-handed batter hitting that well against right-handed pitching is almost unheard of. Sweeney also runs very good numbers with RISP over the course of his entire career, to where it could very well could be a skill with him

In any case, this is a fun rant, nothing more, but I do have some belief that Sweeney could help the Giants. Just think, if/when Bonds get back, of Sweeney hitting behind Bonds, and seeing all of the fat pitches Jeff Kent made an MVP season off of, and know that Sweeney is a better hitter than Kent. Imagine the possibilities....

Okay, stop imagining now.

What do you guys think? Am I shooting in the dark? Spot-on?


Craig Brown said...

There's no doubt Sweeney can help a team like the Giants, or the Angels, or the Dodgers, or the Rangers...

And it would certainly make sense for the Royals to deal him. But there's one problem. I don't think Sweeney is on the trading block.

Things are bad enough in KC as it is. Trading our best player, team captain, face of the franchise? The five of us left in this town that still care about the Royals might riot.

Personally, I'd like to see the Royals get a player along the lines of Austin Kearns or Kevin Mench. Maybe at the trade deadline a healthy Sweeney could be this year's Beltran.

In the meantime, could I interest you in Buddy Bell?

Daniel said...

Buddy Bell? Sure.

I have...a sack of rusty crowbars, pocket lint, and a copy of James Brown doing his remake of Somewhere Over the Rainbow on 8-track.


Now while I don't want Sweeney to be traded, realistically Allard Baird has to consider it. The Royals will still lose over 100 games, etc., and its doubtful the Royals Renaissance will come in 2006, and maybe even 2007 -- will Sweeney still be able to run a 900 OPS by then?

Sweeney's 11 mil can be used in 2006 to build towards 2007 or 2008 for their possible return to competitive baseball.

Todd Linden could be as close to Kearns or Mench as the Royals get...he can hit, that's for sure. I think Neikro is easily as good as Ken Harvey is/was, with more power. Throw in another C prospect, and I think that wouldn't be a bad haul for the Royals.