A common trend I’ve found in Dayton Moore’s moves, particularly the last two offseasons, is that they’re mostly non-horrible when viewed in isolation, but make little sense when assessed within the context of the roster/team needs/depth/etc. Dayton Moore, one must conclude, lives in a vacuum.
Trading a middle reliever for a 30 home run power guy makes sense. The Royals need power, the bullpen is a strength, relievers grow on trees. However…the Royals just traded their second best reliever (Ramon Ramirez), their next best (Ron Mahay) reliever’s performance was more of a mirage plus he’s coming off of injury. The team’s two best hitting prospects (Kila and Butler) are 1b/DH types, need MLB at bats to develop, and have the bonus of being young/cost-controlled. Plus Mike Jacobs’s two biggest weaknesses, lack of defensive ability and on-base skills, are also perhaps the team’s two biggest weaknesses. His contract wasn’t an albatross, but it was way more than the league minimum. In a vacuum, trading a good but not great middle reliever for a 30 home run guy is a slam dunk, in the context of the roster/finances/organizational depth, terrible move.
Trading a middle reliever for a defensive center fielder with good speed makes sense. The bullpen is a strength, the outfield defense could improve, the team could use a top of the order hitter. However…the Royals just traded their third best reliever (Leo Nunez), their next best (Ron Mahay) reliever’s performance was more of a mirage plus he’s coming off of injury. The Royals have a solid, cheap, underrated center fielder in Dejesus, in-house options like Mitch Maier and Joey Gathright. Rumors also float about a trade involving Teahen for some Franklin guy (thank god we didn’t pull the trigger on that one!). Add to that Crisp’s injury history, his age, and his sizeable contract. Not to mention that for all Crisp’s speed he’s not the most efficient base stealer and he lacks the on-base skills to be a legitimate leadoff hitter. In a vacuum, trading a good middle reliever for your starting center fielder is a solid play, in the context of the roster/finances/organization depth, not a good move.
Trading an aging, becoming expensive player who’s ok at everything but not great at anything player for two young, cost-controlled players with upside is a great move. However…when the two players you get in return happen to play the positions that two of your few young, cost-controlled players with upside play, and are both are worse players, it’s a puzzling move.
Acquiring a speedy outfielder that won’t kill you on defense, who has experience winning, good, solid 4th outfielder type but can’t hit too much for under 2 million is a solid play. However…when you already have a speedy outfielder who plays better defense, is several years younger, is going to be at least as good and probably better on offense and makes the league minimum, it’s a dumb, dumb move. Oh yeah, we also signed Brian Anderson who’s younger, cheaper, better on defense, than Podsednik.
Signing an outfielder with a great arm and home run power for ok I’ll just stop there.
If I knew better than to think that Dayton knew how to turn on a computer, I’d say it’s like he’s playing a baseball simulation game that approves trades if the money/performance match up in the abstract. Problem is, these moves make no sense in terms of the 25 man roster, organization depth, finances, etc. It’s good to be able to match up on trades and make deals, but it’s better if you have a reasonable understanding of how to construct a 25 man roster in doing so….being able to successfully identify players that are actually good would help too.
In conclusion, Dayton Moore is a GM who operates in a vacuum, which is why he sucks.