Royals Lose: Rick Ankiel & Kyle Farnsworth
Like Podsednik, I supported the Ankiel signing with the reasoning that he could have a good first half and then be good trade bait at the deadline. This didn't exactly workout as I had hoped but amazingly the Royals were able to flip him at the deadline along with probably the most effective reliever to ever be so hated by the Royals faithful. He pretty much sealed his fate with his first week in the Royal blue. Anyways, Farnsworth should provide some help to the Atlanta bullpen and Ankiel got just hot enough to allow the Royals to package him, opening up another roster spot for something that could be a part of the future of the organization.
Royals Acquire: Jesse Chavez, Gregor Blanco, & Tim Collins
My I first glanced over the stats of the three players acquired I told my friends that "I was less than overwhelmed by the return." Two days later, this statement doesn't entirely hold true and here is are my reasons:
1) Jesse Chavez- Originally I saw his career era of 4.95 and the fact that he has been abysmal this season in the NL East. But after watching him pitch the on television I am somewhat optimistic that with the quality of his stuff and McClure's track record of improving bullpen arms that he could be turned into a viable reliever that is under team control for the next several seasons.
2) Gregor Blanco- I am still less than thrilled about Gregor Blanco, however he seems to have decent speed and a knack for getting on base at a decent clip. Hopefully he can develop into a somewhat decent defensive outfielder and he can be a fourth outfielder guy. If not he can help hold down the fort until an outfield prospect is ready to claim it from him. Anyone? Please...
3) Tim Collins- Collins is the reason why I am excited about this trade. At first glance (literally a couple of seconds before I had to go out the door.) of his statistics there were two things that my eyes focused on: his height which is 5-7, and his 5.68 era last season in double-A. But wait! This season as a twenty year old his double A era is a glistening 2.29 and even more impressive is the fact that he has averaged 15.4 Ks per 9 innings this season. Collins will be assigned to triple A, Omaha and should be a fast riser to the majors. He could be a lefty set up man with his low 90s heat, deceptive arm angle, and plus curveball.
For Collins I've heard comparisons to Billy Wagner thrown out there and even a lefty Tim Lincecum. He's an exciting prospect but let's not get crazy. It's not that unordinary to record that many strikeouts. How many was it? Oh yeah 308 in 202 career minor league innings. Okay, I'll admit that's impressive.
Once again Royals open two spots for younger guys that will be under team control for longer than the remainder of the season. They acquire several years of a reliever with above average stuff, several years of a fourth outfielder, and six years of a potentially dominant reliever. I approve.