The first step in making any successful decisions this year will require first firing whoever convinced Dayton Moore that Sean O'Sullivan and Vin Mazarro would ever become Major League quality pitchers. Mistakes happen and as long as we learn from them then we can move forward and make the necessary improvements. Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera have proven to be a considerable improvement over last years acquisition of Ankel and Podsednik. If we are able to make the same improvement over O'Sullivan and Mazarro in our pitching acquisitions then we should see an exciting trade deadline. We also need to learn from the flexibility shown by Moore in the Greinke trade by taking Odorizzi so that we came away with a real talented pitching prospect even if we have to wait a few years. Finally, we will have to aggressively seek out the teams that are the most motivated to trade young talented players and offer them players that can help that team even if they have some value left to help our team for a year or two into the future.
These two factors come together in Bruce Chen and the surprising second place Arizona Diamond backs. They have an real chance to overtake the reigning champion Giants. Obviously, Bruce Chen has proven to be the best pitcher we have had the last two seasons. They need a veteran pitcher and have no choice but to offer prospects to give them the best chance to win now! The best trade possible with Arizona could be the “Player to Be Named Later” trade. What Arizona has that could help us the most is the one thing we could not come away from the recent MLB draft with in a first round pitching talent. They drafted not only one but two first round pitchers. The perfect trade for us would be to acquire the close to the majors college pitcher in Trevor Bauer. Maybe a close second would be to ask for one top pitching prospect like Pat Corbin, Jarrod Parker, or Tyler Skaggs and the first round high school pitcher , Archie Bradley. This is the only year a trade like this could be possible and we must be willing to trade away our current best pitcher for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I am sure Arizona can get at least one of these pitchers signed so that they can complete the trade in the next few months.
Completing this trade will make the already highly motivated San Francisco Giants even more desperate to improve their offense and shore up some holes exposed by injury. The Giants will not under any circumstance take on high priced players or anyone with long term contracts. Why should they after what they accomplished last year with out the block buster trade that everyone said they had to make. The reason this trade is going to be possible is the Giants and the Royals pulled off the “impossible” trade of moving Jose Guillen even after the trade deadline had expired. The Giants are in desperate need of offensive help at catcher and outfield due to injuries to their most talented young hitters in Posey and Belt. They have to be replaced now but they also have to not be blocked by players who can't be moved in the near future to make room for their inevitable return to the team. We can offer them Matt Trenor and choice of any starting outfielder we currently have. This will leave room for us to bring back Jason Kendall and call up Lorenzo Cain. We can also offer them both Wilson Betemet and Mike Aviles to make an impact change to the nightmare that is San Francisco's play at second and third base as well as short stop. This can help them improve their starting infield and their flexibility off of the bench which is so critical in the National League. But the reason the Giants will make this multi-player deal with the Royals is it is a perfect fit even to the point that they take on no high dollar or long-term contracts. Both teams know they MUST get more than they did out of last years trade but it laid the ground work for this type of trade. In order to make this work we have to be as flexible as we can but we must come away with one of the following starting pitchers Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Baumgarten. We could even except Matt Cain in return if we got to choose the outfielder who was taken and did not have to take on any of San Francisco's current infielder contracts that would be made expendable in the trade. We would definitely take on those contracts for one of the first two pitchers. The only contract we can not be stuck with is Barry Zito's. We must avoid that even at the cost of not making this trade. But no other team in Baseball is going to offer to do that either.
The next most motivated team after last years World Series Champs would be the team that lost to them in the World Series, Texas. They need bull pen help or they may not be able to make it back to the World Series. Again we have to be willing to give up something that seems to be one of our best players this year. We must be willing to offer either Joakim Soria or Aaron Crow to the Rangers. There is talk that one or the other of them needs to move to the starting rotation for next year and I do not believe either can be an effective starting pitcher by next year. I am also sure that neither can be as good as they have been this year if they both return next year for the Royals. In stead lets trade them for a true top of the rotation starter of the future in either Neil Ramirez or Joe Wieland. If this is too much for the Rangers to sacrifice than go after both Robbie Erlin and Martin Perez. These two would be combined with Odorizzi to create the next wave a pitching talent that could reach the major league in as little as two years. They could form the core of the most talented young pitching staff in the major league by the time our hitting prospects and position players are ready to win.
The final trade possibility to pursue would again be a trade after the trade deadline has passed. Jeff Francis can be traded for a player to be named later toward the end of the season to the most desperate team who did not land a pitcher at the deadline. (Ala Jose Guillen) Try to get a really high upside A or AA pitcher. Again I know Francis can help us a little this year but even with that help we are still one of the worst teams in baseball. These moves would require us to use both O'Sullivan and Mazarro, and even worse yet bring back Kyle Davies to finish this season. But even if we kept Chen and Francis they won't be able to help us in the near future and we are still losing games at a phenomenal rate with them here. Who knows maybe one of them would learn enough through the experience to at least be a quality long reliever out of the bull pen for several years and take over the role currently held by Nate Adcock so we can send him to AAA next year and make the improvements to join the team a year later as the starter that he has the potential to be for the Royals. This would be the last trade we could make during the current season to strengthen the future of the Royals organization.
The next and most critical part of this plan would be to land one new young starting pitcher by signing one free agent in the off season. I would first try to sign CJ Wilson to a 3 year $30000 contract or Zack Duke to a 3 year $20000 contract if I felt Wilson would require even more than that to sign. I would also listen to offers in the off season for Butler, Getz, or one of the bull pen arms other than Tim Collins and Crow or Soria (whoever is left). Looking for upside players who fill in spots in our AAA roster, only making deals that knock me over. But it is critical to listen and supplement our minor league talent where I was not able to draft what I needed. Other off season signings would include one pitcher to a 1-2 Million dollar 1 year contract (Ala Bruce Chen and Jeff Francis). Sign one position player to a 1-2 Million dollar 1 year contract (Ala Francoeur and Cabrera), and resigning at least one of the players that San Francisco has to dump from the trade we made and bring them back to the Royals team for next year.