Since the offseason is winding down and it doesn't look like the Royals have many bullets left in the gun unless they make a trade, I wanted to take a look at the good and bad deals this offseason.
First, the good aquisitions.
- Traded Ram-Ram for Coco Crisp. Some people might disagree with me on this, but I think Coco is going to have a pretty good year. He had a better year last year than he had the year before and now he will not be in a platoon with Ellsbury anymore. He predicted 40 steals for this year. If he get's even half of that, he's easily the stolen base leader on the team. Giving up Ram-Ram for an everyday CF is a no-brainer in my book. I really don't think Ram-Ram is going to repeat his season from last year anytime soon. Besides, we picked him up off the scrap heap last year and turned it into Coco. Not a bad deal at all.
- Signed Waechter as a middle reliever. This guy was once a good starting pitcher prospect after being drafted in the 3rd round but was injured and had a tough time rebounding. He pitched pretty well last year in middle relief for the Marlins with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.3 WHIP. Could be better, but could be alot worse.
I wish there was more to put in that section, but there just isn't. Now on to the questionable moves.
- Signed Farnsworth to a 2 year/$9.25 million dollar deal. Are you kidding me? He's had a 4+ ERA the past three seasons, gave up 15 HR in 60 innings last year, a WHIP that has increased each of the last four years, and his strikeouts seem to be falling off a bit. (75 in '06 in 66IP, 48 in '07 in 60IP, 61 in '08 in 60IP) Just stupid to pay a guy that much when he's that mediocre.
- Traded Leo Nunez for Mike Jacobs. On the surface, it doesn't look that bad. Trading a middle/late inning reliever for a guy who hit 32 HR last year. The trade isn't the problem, it's what else was involved in the trade that makes it a bad deal. I'll get to the details later.
- Signed Horacio Ramirez for $1.8 million. I don't mind Horacio. He pitched pretty decently for us last year in the brief stint he was here, but for $1.8 million? There's definitely better guys available for $1.8 million. John Parrish, Chuck James and Mark Mulder come to mind as lefties. Probably won't make the starting rotation next year so you now have four lefties in the bullpen. (Mahay, Bale, Gobble, Ramirez)
- Signed Bloomquist to a 2 year/$3 million deal. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate this signing that much, but it's not in the good aquisitions category, so here it is. The thing that gets me is it's a two year deal. If he can handle second base on a regular basis, it's a good signing, but if he can't then you have another Esteban German on your team and still have to play Callaspo at second base.
Ok, now I'll get back to the Mike Jacobs deal and explain myself. We traded Nunez for him, and it seemed that Nunez was figuring out how to pitch in the bigs. He wasn't making much money and now you have Jacobs for at least $3 million. Not to mention that you had to sign Farnsworth to replace him, which is $4.625 million. So if you don't trade for Jacobs and don't sign Farnsworth, that leaves you with about $7 million in money to spend. Also, if you don't sign Horacio Ramirez for that $1.8 million deal you have around $9 million to spend. $9 MILLION! There are several scenarios in which this money could have been spent that I can see.
- Sign Jason Giambi for $5 million with an option for '10. He has much better numbers over a longer period of time than Jacobs and plays the same kind of defense, none. That leaves you with $4 million in which you can take a look at Orlando Hudson at second base if you can get ownership to cough up a few million more or find a decent starting pitcher, possibly in the Brad Penny, Randy Wolf, Daniel Cabrera range.
- Sign a starter with all of that $9 million, such as Ben Sheets, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez.
- Sign Orlando Hudson with all of that $9 million.
- Entertain the idea of an Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell signing. You'd have to move either David DeJesus or Jose Guillen to make room though.
- Make a real run at Furcal before he signed with the Dodgers.
I know signing Hudson or any of the pitchers mentioned above may be a stretch, but if you have $9 million to spend, you can shuffle around and find a few million more, especially Hudson since you wouldn't have had to sign Bloomquist so that's another $1.5 million. Let's take a look at scenario #1. Here's what the line-up would have looked like.
- Crisp - CF
- Aviles - SS
- DeJesus - LF
- Guillen - RF
- Giambi - DH
- Butler/Shealy - 1B
- Gordon - 3B
- Olivo - C
- Bloomquist/Callaspo - 2B
- Soria - Closer
- Nunez - Set-up
- Mahay - Set-up
- number of other guys
Now mix and match that line-up as you want to with the scenarios provided. Doesn't look too bad huh? This offseason could have been so much better if we would have been patient and let the market come to us. Trading for Jacobs right off the bat put us in a hole that we had to spend money to dig out of, and I'm not sure if we've even done that.