Tagged: Leo Nunez

What Were You Thinking, Dayton?

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By
Dayton, I mean Dayton
Moore
, the GM of the Kansas City Royals. 
And by “what were you thinking?”, I was referring to the trade of first
baseman Mike
Jacobs
for right-handed reliever Leo Nunez with
the Florida Marlins. 


mike jacobs.jpg

It’s
not really that Nunez is that much better than Jacobs.  In fact, I’d rank their talent pretty much
even.  However, Mike Jacobs just doesn’t
fit all with the Royals team.  The
Royals are not a very good team, but the have one glaring strength: first-base
depth.  The Royals are stacked with
hard-hitting first basemen like Billy Butler,
Ryan Shealy,
and Kila
Ka’aihue
. 

 

The
Royals simply didn’t need Jacobs.  Although he
doesn’t deserve it, he will be the Royals starting first baseman next year.  That’s the worst part of this whole
deal.  This blocks Shealy, Butler, and
Ka’aihue from the major leagues or will at least force them into a reserve
role, which will be bad for their development. 

 

Ryan Shealy
had a great year in AAA, hitting 22 HR with a .376 OBP in only 400
at-bats.  Billy Butler
struggled in the bigs this year but is extremely young (23), and more
importantly, has been extremely good in the minors.  I still will continue to believe that Butler (below) will develop into one of the best pure hitters until he turns at least 25.

butler.jpg

Ka’aihue
is the most intriguing player in the KC first-base glut.  Kila (not to be confused with his brother Kala)
absolutely destroyed minor league pitching in both AA and AAA this past season,
and held his own in very limited at-bats with the Royals in September (21 at-bats,
.804 OPS).  But it’s those minor league
numbers that have you really wondering why the Royals felt they needed Mike
Jacobs.  Would you want a player
that had a .299 OBP in 2008 to be the reason that the guy who put up
the numbers below doesn’t get

to play?

(Yes, he does in fact hit with his eyes closed)

kaahiue.jpg

Level      G     
OBP      HR      RBI     
SLG      OPS

AA        
91     .463      26      
79       .624     1.086

AAA       33    
.439      11       21       .640     1.079

MLB      12     
.375      1          1        .429      .804

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In case, you would like to visualize Kila better, here’s
the video of his first ML homer.  He
almost has as sweet of a swing of Jacobs. 
Almost.  (If you watch the vid, notice that Billy Butler has fallen victim of the Bazooka Trick.)

 

This
is just one of those deals that
makes so little sense it actually makes you think that the Royals are in the
process of working on another trade that would include either Shealy, Ka’aihue
or Butler being dealt away.  A example
of this type of deal is the Randy Wolf-for-Chad Reineke trade at last year’s
deadline.  It made so little sense for
the Astros, I was convinced Houston was going to trade Wolf to another team
before the deadline ended.  It didn’t
happen.   Yet, it would not surprise me
to see Dayton Moore trade away at least one of the Royals remaining first
baseman.

And
since the Royals made this deal with the Marlins, it’s obvious that they were
not giving up some overpaid veteran for Jacobs.  No, the Royals had to sacrifice a bright, young, already
successful reliever in Leo Nunez.  He
had a 2.98 ERA in 45 games (all in relief), and he’s just 25 years old.  Nunez is a great pick-up for the Marlins,
and I agree that he was a guy they should have asked for from the Royals.  Still, when I heard of the likely probability of Jacobs being dealt, I sort of envisioned more in return than just a guy like Nunez.  If the Royals threw in a guy like

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Gilbert
de la Vara
I’d be a little more happy.  I think I may be overvaluing Jacobs a little becuase of his sweet swing, but what’s pretty is pretty, and when he connects it just looks nice.


leo nunez.jpg

 

Bottom Line

Talent
wise, this trade pretty much evens out for both clubs.  
It made sense for the Marlins to trade Jacobs, but I felt they could have
gotten a little more.  For the Royals though,
it was just completely unnecessary, and leads me to speculate Dayton Moore
is simultaneously working on another deal to trade away another first baseman
from his team.

 

Grades

Marlins –    B

Royals –     D+