Dayton Moore likes to make the first move. The last three off-seasons, Moore has made a major trade (by Royals standards) within eight days of the end of the World Series. Given that rumors have abounded for the last two months that the Royals are looking to make a significant roster move or two this winter, we should expect nothing less this November.
Last season, the Giants won the World Series on November 2nd and on November 10th, Moore made his first major move, trading David DeJesus to Oakland. In 2009, the Yankees won the title on the 2nd as well, and on November 6th Moore traded Mark Teahen to the White Sox. In 2008, the season ended with a Phillies title on October 27th, and on October 31 Moore made the Mike Jacobs trade.
Moore is certainly predictable in some ways. We beat the Jeff Francoeur joke into the ground, only... he did actually eventually sign Jeff Francoeur. Apparently, the man uses centerfielder shopping as a way of marking time, to give another example. And, if you're a good bet to post a sub .320 OBP and a terrible UZR, there's a perverse chance that you'll end up a Royal. We know all that. However, not every transaction is another Miguel Olivo or Yuni move. There are also deals like the Teahen trade, which wasn't immediately digestible, or the signing of Melky Cabrera, which no one saw coming (though it fit the Moore paradigm in many ways) or, most famously, the Meche 5/$55 contract.
What might we expect this November?
- An early, market-busting or market-irrelevant move to sign a starting pitcher. I think this is more likely than a trade, because I don't think Moore wants to part with his guys that much. (Which, by the way, I don't mean to imply is necessarily a bad thing.) Problem is, the options aren't great.
- One of the zillion trade proposals you've seen for a starting pitcher. But, because this is how baseball go, it won't involve a team we think at all. Instead, Moore will strike a deal with, say, the Marlins or Mets or someone, that will catch us all off-guard. I have nightmares about being out of pocket for days and Moore trading Hosmer for King Felix or something and being unable to blog about it.
- The baffling position player move. Step one, acquire a player at a position seemingly occupied by someone else. Step two, announce a suboptimal position switch. Step three (six months later) trade the second player, but keep the other guy at his new position anyway.
- The bold position player move. Ala, Mike Jacobs part 2. Decent idea, poor execution on that one. In this case, I dunno... the line between baffling and bold could be blurry with this roster.
- A backup catcher. Signing a backup catcher is one of those transactions you can literally make just about anytime you want. Matt Treanor changed teams eight times this season, and I think the same 20 dollar bill just stayed stapled to his shirt the entire time as the payment. Dayton may want to just do something, so he'll sign Gerald Laird or someone.