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Royals Sign Juan Cruz

For the last few weeks the big news around Juan Cruz has been speculation surrounding a sign-and-trade deal involving the Arizona Diamondbacks and Minnesota Twins. Understandably, the Diamondbacks wanted fair value in return for their cooperation since Cruz is a Type-A free agent, the D-Backs would receive either a first or second round pick in June’s draft depending on the team that signed Cruz. At the same time, Arizona couldn’t risk having Cruz sit out through the draft and get absolutely nothing in return so they agreed today to a…wait, that’s…that’s Dayton Moore’s music!

Yep, the Kansas City General Manager swooped in and signed Cruz to a two-year contract worth six million. It’s a fine deal considering Cruz’ level of performance over the past few seasons in which he’s been worth a little more than a half of a win as a non-crucial reliever. That is to say that Cruz was not used in high leverage situations, something that will help his value – assuming he continues pitching well.

Over the last two years, Cruz has been used exclusively as a reliever. In 2007, Cruz recorded a 3.7 FIP, and 3.62 FIP in 2008 despite an increase in walks. CHONE absolutely loves Cruz, projecting a 3.2 FIP while Marcels has him at 3.99. Let’s say the midpoint is more realistic, meaning Cruz will be a set-up man with a 3.6 FIP. That’s worth three million annually.

Any article reviewing this move isn’t complete without a mention of the deal the Royals signed Kyle Farnsworth earlier this off-season, but I’d rather discuss the draft pick implications. The Royals pick within the first half of the first round, which means the Diamondbacks will receive their second round pick – number 58 according to River Ave Blues. Not quite what the Diamondbacks were hoping for, but all things considered, it’s probably better than the alternatives.