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Whit trade rumors and looking in the mirror

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How our fandom keeps us from wanting to better our team.

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

I woke up this morning and started getting ready for work for a typical Friday. After clothing myself in the usual business casual polo and khakis I came to the full length mirror that we stare into while we brush our teeth/ponder the great mysteries of the universe like:
“How do mirrors even work?”
“Are mirrors truly barriers between our world and a supernatural ghost world?”
“How did they become known as mirrors? Were they invented by Greg Mirror or did it derive from the Latin mirrorealus meaning ‘to be reflected’”
“Was it originally called two things: the meer or the flimflam and people would just say ‘you can look into the meer or flimflam and eventually they just started cutting that offer off at ‘meer or’ eventually evolving into meeror, then meerer, then mirror.”

You know, typical mirror thoughts.

As I pondered these things, my attention was redirected to the new shadows that my manboobs cast on my belly. They had gotten longer; a tough way to start a Friday. These types of harsh realizations bring us to the metaphorical fork in the road: do I do something about the new high score for man boob shadows and better myself? or do I just let it roll and enjoy life as is? Both outcomes have pros and cons.

Similarly, the Hot Stove szn is in full swing and the latest hypothetical Whit rumors has every fan taking an emotional inventory to see just how open to the concept they are. There seems to be three distinct groups that fans are falling into:

  1. Yes, let’s trade Whit right now because he’s not going to be here for the next window and his value is not going to be any higher.
  2. Trade him if, and only if, your high price tag is met or exceeded.
  3. Do not trade Whit at all. He’s the only thing keeping me watching at the moment.

There is a correct group to be in, a less correct group to be in, and a wrong group to be in. After this article, I hope to convince all of you to be in the correct group with me.

The high asking price

There have been plenty of reports of Dayton Moore’s high asking price (3 major league ready players at least) for Whit Merrifield but we can only speculate and hypothesize what that would actually look like and the range of those hauls are about as wide as the Grand Canyon. So I think the first thing we can do is weed out all trades that aren’t in the Royals’ favor as far as value added goes. A contender that has at least 3 dispensable players will be hard to find but there are options out there. Whether they will pay the price is another question. So is the strategy of speeding up the rebuild by asking for major league ready players instead of high profile prospects. But those are separate issues.

After an exchange with fellow Royals Review writer, Alex Duvall, I got to thinking about a a trade in the past that was pretty blockbustery and could be a close comp to a trade for Whit.

The more I looked into this trade two things happened: I couldn’t believe how close Eaton was in 2016 and Whit is now and I couldn’t believe that the trade actually happened.

The 2016 Adam Eaton trade

Let’s look at how similar ‘16 Eaton and ‘19 Whit are.

As always, there are some asterisks to this. Whit arguably came up in his prime season at age 27. Eaton debuted at 23 and his first two years were the typical grinding you’d expect from a young player. So I only used his 3 seasons with the White Sox for his averages. Whit’s obviously older in this comparison. We all have our theories about how he will age, but generally age catches up with all of us. Adam Eaton himself is a good example of that.

In general, there are plenty of similarities here. A cheap contract with multiple controlled prime years of a solid all around player meant to get the team over the hump. Whit provides a bit more value in the field and on the base paths, but Eaton created more runs. I think there is some legitimacy to Whit’s intangibles in the clubhouse as a leader. I don’t know much about Eaton in this respect, but there have been some news recently that make me question Eaton there. So I think that this all balances out pretty well.

In that trade, the Nats sent Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning to the South Side. At the time, Giolito was their #1 system prospect (#3 in Top 100), Lopez was their #3 prospect (#38 in Top 100), and Dunning was their #6 with an overall grade of 50. That is the exact package that Dayton’s asking price should be. It mostly meets the “major league ready” requirements for Moore in that Lopez and Giolito were both expected to be ready for the bigs in 2017. Dunning was expected to be ready by 2019, and was on schedule for that until his elbow gave out, forcing him to miss out on the entire season this year. So not QUITE what Dayton’s saying he will require to pull the trigger but pretty close.

Let’s look in the mirror

Now, with all this being said. Let’s take a quick poll.

Poll

Would you be OK trading Whit for a similar package (the #3 overall prospect ready to contribute, the #38 prospect also ready to contribute, and another solid prospect)?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Nope
    (627 votes)
  • 77%
    Yeppers
    (2212 votes)
2839 votes total Vote Now

Did you answer?

Is it your final answer?

Well if you said “Yeppers” then congratulations, you’ve answered correctly. You’ve also gotten to think about the word “Yeppers” which should bring a bit of dopamine/serotonin into your brain.

From a value standpoint, this trade was crazy. In an attempt to quantify the value in a trade like this, let’s say that San Diego comes knocking for Whit and offer a similar package.

According to MLB Pipleine, Mackenzie Gore is the #3 prospect in baseball. Adrian Morejon is the #49 prospect, and Logan Allen is #75. Morejon is a bit less than Lopez was in 2016 and Allen is a bit more than Dunning was so that part balances out. Loogit that value though! Bask in its lopsidedness! Exist in its imbalance! Abide in its inequality!

If you’re saying no to this package, this is where you need to take a long look in the mirror at your fandom. We all love Whit. We do not want to see him in a different uniform. He is legitimately the most consistent performer night in and night out. Without him, this team is almost unwatchable to 75% of the fanbase. I get that. That’s why you can’t just ship him out to any team willing to give up a bag of balls and some cash considerations. He’s gotta bring back what he’s worth, and he’s worth a lot.

Where we differ is our outlook on how we get the team back into fightin’ shape. You look in the mirror, see those big voluptuous man breasts and tell yourself “Eh, maybe I’ll have a salad today”. We should be looking at those masculine sweater cows and saying “No more pizza ever.” We all love pizza. I want pizza for every meal I’ll ever eat ever again. I also know that every slice of pizza accounts for roughly 2000% of one’s daily calorie intake. (Just trust the numbers).

In order to get to where you wanna be, you’ve gotta make hard decisions and sacrifices. Hanging on to Whit until the next contention window of maybe 2022 when he’s 33 years old is us making the hollow promises about small sacrifices. In order to get back in the ring, we’ve got to make the commitment to better ourselves no matter the cost. Making the above hypothetical and completely nonexistent deal is so lopsided in terms of value, we’d be foolish to turn it down.

Having said that, how would you vote now?

Poll

Would you be OK trading Whit for a similar package (the #3 overall prospect ready to contribute, the #38 prospect also ready to contribute, and another solid prospect)?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Nope
    (627 votes)
  • 77%
    Yeppers
    (2212 votes)
2839 votes total Vote Now