Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Royals Trade Broxton

I woke up this morning truly believing that the Royals deadline would end quietly. Instead, the Royals did the wise thing and flipped Jonathan Broxton to the Reds. In the trade the Royals acquired two minor leaguers and in the opinion of some made off like bandits. Here's a collection of information in each of the two prospects that are coming to Kansas City.

Juancarlos Sulbaran: Entered the season ranked as the 12th best prospect in the Reds' system according to Baseball America as well as having the system's top curveball. At this point some considered Sulbaran to be the fifth best prospect in the system. Also, John Sickels graded Sulbaran as a C+ prospect, but also considered him a potential sleeper. Sulbaran typically sits in the low 90s, and has been clocked as high as 95. He is also said to show flashes of a plus curveball and changeup, although both still need consistency.

Last season, Sulbaran took a huge step forward in the California League recording 155 strikeouts to 50 walks. This season, the former 30th round selection has improved his ERA to 4.06, despite his K:BB dropping down around 2. Sulbaran is said to have the upside of a #3 starter with a high amount of risk.

Donnie Joseph: Entered the season ranked as the 27th best prospect in the Reds system. He is said to have two plus pitches in his fastball and slider. As of this moment Joseph could probably hold his own as a lefty specialist. Long term, Joseph could very well find a spot in the late innings as a set up man. Also, John Mayo provided us with the opinion of a scout who believed that Joseph as of right now would have been just as good of an option as Broxton to set up for Cincinnati. That same scout also said that he viewed Joseph as a future closer.

I can't imagine any educated Royals' fan being disappointed with this deal. If nothing else, moving Broxton saves the Royals $1.8 million and allows the team to use the remaining two months as a dress rehearsal for newly anointed closer Greg Holland.

As for the prospects, I would have been happy if the Royals would have grabbed just one of the two aforementioned players. The fact that the Royals were not able to grab a near Major League ready starter as well as a Major League ready reliever is even better. Of course, on a day when the Cardinals traded a former first round draft pick for an average reliever, it shouldn't come as too big of a shock that former Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak gave up two quality prospects for a couple months of a reliever.

The Broxton signing should go down as the Dayton Moore's top offseason acquisition. In an offseason that required perfection in order for the Royals to jump the gap, the Broxton signing was one of the few positives. However after Soria went down, Broxton absolutely provided the Royals with what they needed. A few months later the one year deal has now turned itself into potentially 6 seasons of control for a set up man, and 6 more for a mid rotation starter. But like I said, even if neither prospect pans out, the two months of closer experience for Holland should make the whole thing worthwhile.

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