MLB Trade: Royals stock up on arms in six-player deal with the Padres
Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter head to K.C. in the trade
The Royals are hot, having won five straight games, and are looking for one last deep playoff run before much of the nucleus hits free agency after the season. This is a pretty savvy move to bulk up the pitching staff without coughing up a ton of future value.
Cahill, 29, will step in and serve as the Royals' fifth starter behind Danny Duffy, Jason Vargas, Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel. Cahill was 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 61 innings this season in 11 starts for the Padres. He has been particularly effective with his curveball.
Buchter is a 30-year-old left-hander with a 3.05 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 47 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings this season. He's not a specialist, as he has held right-handed hitters to a .214/.302/.417 line this season.
Maurer, 27, is 20 for 23 in save situations this season. His ERA is a robust 5.72, but his peripherals show that he should improve. He has 38 strikeouts against eight walks in 39 1/3 innings and has only allowed four homers. His FIP is just 3.23 while his WHIP is 1.20. So he's not nearly as bad as his ERA looks. He won't be closing games for the Royals, either.
So the Royals add a starting pitcher and two likely useful relievers in this deal. What did they send to San Diego?
Wood, a 30-year-old lefty, has a 6.91 ERA, 1.82 WHIP and has struck out 29 against 20 walks in 41 2/3 innings this year. He's signed for $6.5 million next season and there's a mutual option ($8M) with a $1.5 million buyout for 2019. We have to figure this is where the "cash considerations" come in, because Wood as he's currently performing is making way too much money next season.
Strahm, 25, has a 5.45 ERA and 1.50 WHIP this season in 34 2/3 innings. He did have a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings last season, though, so it's possible the Padres get some value here.
The major place the Padres are looking to hit in this deal, though, is with Ruiz. He's only 18 and in rookie ball this season, but the Dominican middle infielder is hitting .419/.440/.779(!) with 10 doubles, six triples, three homers and nine steals in 21 games. Should he continue to grow at this rate, he has star potential three or four years from now.
On the surface, this deal makes sense for both sides. The Royals need to go for it this season before possibly losing upwards of six very important players while the Padres are looking to hit big down the road with a potential star in Ruiz.
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