Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Daniel-damus on the Royals

I am always right. The only time I am not right, is when I am wrong. Which is never, because I'm always right. Right?

The following was written on this blog just a week ago:

"Not trading anyone, I think, will change by the middle of this month. The Royals do have some attractive pieces to some team's puzzle. Tony Graffanino is one, a utility player who is swinging a decent bat..."

Well, I guess saying the middle of the month could be stretching it, but I think the 19th is close enough.

The Boston Red Sox was, apparently, one team interested in Graffy's services (utility infielder, is capable of hitting in some slight measure, veteran...you know). They traded minor-league left-handed pitcher Juan Cedeno and outfielder Chip Ambres for him, just one of three deals the Red Sox pulled off today.

Cedeno is a 21 year old left handed starting pitcher out of the Dominican. I don't know anything about his stuff, but I do know that he was about to be 22 years old and still in A ball, something that can't be considered good, along with the fact that his numbers in A ball are forgettable: high WHIP (1.54), mediocre k rate (5.83 per 9), and a mediocre ERA (4.64). Perhaps he'll be good enough to pitch out of the bullpen one day, I dunno -- I'm assuming he was the best starting pitcher the Royals could get out of the Sox.

Ambres is a 25 year old outfielder who was playing double A ball at the time of the trade. His minor league numbers don't stand out (his batting average is unimpressive), but he does seem to possess good on-base skills (.105 ISO discipline throughout his minor league career), and just enough pop to say that he has some (.167 ISO power through the minors). He has decent speed...at least, that's what I'm assuming seeing that he was 26 for 35 in stolen bases at AA before the trade, and he runs a 72% minor league career stolen base percentage.

Neither of these players seem to be anything special, but then neither is Tony Graffanino, so I'd call this trade an even swap at this point. The Royals do get to save just a tad bit of money, and get young bodies to stock their farm system, so I'd have to say that GM Allard Baird got what he wanted out of the deal. I'm hearing Cedeno has a live arm...Baird seems to covet these fireball-throwing youngsters after having a few years with nothing but soft-tossers on the big club -- at least Cedeno has shown decent control so far in his career.

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