Yesterday the rumors that Callaspo was going to be traded to the Angels for Sean O'Sullivan and a minor league prospect proved to be true. My suspicision is that the reason it was first reported to be rejected by Dayton Moore is that Moore wanted more than the fringe prospect that the Angels were offering. Whether Moore was successful in this tactic cannot totally be known, but I approve of the deal. Let's look at the deal piece by piece:
Royals Lose: Alberto Callaspo
Alberto Callaspo didn't feature into the Royals long term plans, you knew he wouldn't stay at third because of Moustakas right behind him and if you are one of those demented people that think the Royals would actually consider moving him back across the diamond to second then you need to get a clue. I am not of the group that believes that Callaspo's value is lost at third base, however I think at best he can be slightly above-average at the position offensively (if he can replicate his career year from a season ago). But with Moustakas knocking on the door the Royals were smart in being proactive in their search for a decent return.
The Angels get a steadier option at the hot corner with above average contact skills and the potential for a little pop. Callaspo's line drive percentage is down just a tad this year, but it's his BABIP that has really caused his decrease in offensive numbers (has dropped from .312 to .278). This would suggest that his average should improve in the second half.
Royals Acquire: Sean O'Sullivan & Will Smith
In case you haven't noticed the Royals rotation is falling to pieces. Hochevar and Meche find themselves on the disabled list and Bannister and Davies are managing to actually regress, an incredible feat for two pitchers with some promise that are reaching the prime years of their repsective careers. Not to mention that Anthony Lerew could be heading to the DL soon enough after taking a liner off the ribs on Wednesday. O'Sullivan should be able to slide into Lerew's spot and instantly upgrade the rotation, which isn't saying much. He should also be able to hold down a back end rotation spot until the farm system's pitching product is ready for harvest.
O'Sullivan has been described as a bulldog on the mound that is hard to rattle. He commands three pitches, but it's his lack of a true out pitch that holds him back from being a front of the rotation kind of guy. He has a big frame so he should be a servicable innings eater at the back end.
The other player in the deal is left handed pitching prospect Will Smith. Smith entered the season rated as the #15 prospect in the Angels organization and due to a total lack of depth and some injuries at the higher levels he has been rushed thru the system all the way up to triple A. The Royals are going to assign Smith to high A, a place he should have been assigned in the first place.
Smith possesses a fastball that typically sits in the 87-89 range but on some nights can touch 92-93. He also has an advanced curveball and change up. He has great control of his three pitches and is able to keep the ball down in the zone on a regular basis. However, like Kyle Davies he tends to nitpick around the zone at times which can get him into bad counts and cause him some trouble. Smith is a finesse guy that like O'Sullivan lacks an outpitch at this point in his career. Some scouts believe that his changeup could become one and that will probably be the decider on if becomes a mid-rotation starter or if he winds up on the back end or in the bullpen.
Royals acquire a rotational bridge until the prospects are ready in O'Sullivan. They add to their left-handed pitching prospect depth and they give up a player that has already reached his ceiling and doesn't figure into the team's long term plans in anyway. In principle this deal seems like a good move for the Royals, but as with all trades only time will tell.