|Jonathan Sanchez will soon be handing the ball to a different manager. (Getty Images)|
If you like, think of it in these stark terms: the Royals traded a 7.76 ERA for a 6.35 ERA. Insofar as the 2012 season is concerned, that's what happened when the Royals sent Jonathan Sanchez to the Rockies in exchange for Jeremy Guthrie.
Sanchez and Guthrie have each enjoyed some measure of success in the past, but each has tanked badly with a new team in 2012. So a change of address is called for. The 29-year-old Sanchez utterly collapsed in KC, walking more than he's struck out and allowing opponents to hit a galling .302/.425/.512 against him before he was designated for assignment last week.
As for Guthrie, his command numbers are better than Sanchez's (how could they not be?), but his undoing has been an NL-leading 21 homers allowed in 90.2 innings. While he's hardly been good away from Coors Field, he hasn't been quite as awful, so perhaps Kauffman, which cuts down on home-run rates, will help him. From 2007-2011, Guthrie ranged from "pretty darn good" to "useful," so from that standpoint the pitching-starved Royals might have achieved an upgrade.
The Rockies, meanwhile, save a little cash in the deal and get rid of a pitcher who turned out to be an awful fit for baseball at a mile above sea level.