Royals Trade Away Ankiel, Farnsworth

Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth represented exactly why so many in the sabermetric community constantly deride Dayton Moore and the front office in Kansas City. “Trusting the process” meant bringing in players like Ankiel and Farnsworth and paying them way too much money, given Kansas City’s lack of big-time Major League talent outside of Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria. Contracts like those given to this pair of players are why the Royals franchise has been stagnant for my entire lifetime, and why another sub-.500, fourth or fifth place season is inevitable in Kansas City.

It’s not that Ankiel and Farnsworth are terrible players – Ankiel has good power and can play solid defense in a corner spot. Farnsworth throws hard enough to get strikeouts, and his control is better than perceived, making him a good, but not great relief pitcher. Both players are decent pieces on playoff teams, but aren’t going to do anything for a rebuilding franchise. Throw in the fact that these two players make a combined 7.25M this season (including option buyouts) and there was no reason that the Royals shouldn’t try and move the pair at the deadline, even if it was just for salary relief.

The Royals brought in more than salary relief in their deal with Atlanta, as Gregor Blanco, Tim Collins, and Jesse Chavez will join the Royals organization. This isn’t exactly a big time haul, but there is a discernible amount of talent present here. Blanco, 26, isn’t exactly much of a prospect any more. He has a decent eye at the plate and good speed, but no power to speak of and average contact skills. ZiPS projects a .305 wOBA with a 11% walk rate, which will make for an okay role player if he can handle center field, but not much more.

Bryan Smith covered Tim Collins earlier, as he was part of the package Atlanta brought in for Yunel Escobar.

In terms of pedigree, it’s outrageous to think that 5-foot-7, 155-pound Tim Collins could rank ahead of Reyes, a big-bodied former second-round pick. This is the type of thinking that Collins has long been susceptible to, and the thinking he’s consistently outpaced. In 130 games at the minor league level over four years, Collins has a 2.40 ERA, 13.6 K/9 ratio and 5.9 H/9 ratio. He lives in the strike zone, and brings deception and sneaky velocity everytime he touches the mound… It’s hard to think that Collins has a long career ahead of him, but naysaying this guy has essentially become pointless.

Jesse Chavez is a replacement level, super fly-ball reliever who misses enough bats to draw strikeouts but just can’t keep the ball in the park. His presence in this deal is negligible.

Overall, this isn’t exactly a huge win for Kansas City, and the players that the Braves are bringing in will certainly help them in their stretch run. However, this deal is a step in the right direction by the KC front office, as they managed to dump some salary and bring back some potential value in the process. It won’t matter if they continue to make the same mistakes in the free agent market that they have in the past. Still, it’s hard to argue with the process employed by Dayton Moore and the rest of his front office here.




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18 Responses to “Royals Trade Away Ankiel, Farnsworth”

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  1. Frank Costanza says:

    Surprise, surprise. Dayton Moore bringing in more former Braves.

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    • frozendesert says:

      Surprise, Surprise. Trading with the Braves will actually net you former Braves!

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Maybe I’m wrong, but hasn;t the Braves farm system over the last 10 years been one of the better ones?

      With Ankiel, weren’t the Royals hoping from a rebound from injury for decent contract?

      Somebody has to play the positions for the Royals, shouldn;t they try to get the best players they can?

      I’m not saying Ankiel was “the best player”, but clearly they were hoping for a rebound from injury, and Anky had no spot in StL with Rasmus taking over CF.

      It didn’t work out, but they aren’t NYY, BOS, PHL, etc where they’ll just make another deal for abetter player and double the money.

      I’m not sure who would be in the lineup if the critics ran the Royals? The problem with the Royals in the past is that all of their prospects were the same guy … “1st base types without much power”.

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      • TCQ says:

        Let’s see…Gordon, Kila, Maier (not great, and not really a prospect, but making the minimum is about as big of an attribute as you can have in KC)…defending the Royals is a losing battle.

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      • Jack Moore says:

        Don’t have a problem with Ankiel the player, but I do think he was a bit pricy. The real bad contract is Farnsworth’s.

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    • Nitram Odarp says:

      Blanco is the only guy was actually on the Braves last year. I’d consider Chavez and Collins to be a former Pirate and a former Blue Jay respectively. Collins hadn’t even been a Braves farmhand for a month yet.

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  2. spike says:

    The point is this does nothing for the Braves extreme vulnerability to LHP, and the horrifying defensive performance they’ve gotten in CF. They get a guy who can’t hit lefties, and isn’t much in CF, while trading away the one guy who was at least tolerable there. I really have no idea what the Braves are trying to accomplish here. They needed a good RH hitter, and proceeded to get a pretty pedestrian lefty, and reduced their already bleak defensive CF options for good measure.

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    • Nick says:

      My guess is they’ll go platoon all the way.

      vs. LHP – Diaz (who CRUSHES LHP better than anyone not named Pujols), Melky (he’s slightly better vs. LHP than RHP though both suck), Heyward

      vs. RHP – Hinske, Ankiel, Heyward

      Personally, I hope they move Heyward to CF. Even though he’s most likely worse in CF than in RF, both Melky and Ankiel are below-average in CF (understatement for Ankiel). But Ankiel is a plus defender in the corners (albeit in a small sample) and Melky is less worse in the corners. Unless Heyward is somehow a -10 in CF (compared to being +11.7 in RF), it should be a net gain overall.

      Though it’s doubtful Bobby does anything like this. He actually thought Nate McLouth was a GOOD CF.

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      • cavebird says:

        Nick–I disagree with moving Heyward to center in this situation. I would agree with it if we had gotten someone like Willingham and no other way would work. However, since we have a center fielder (not a good one, but passable one) in each line-up, I would not want to move Heyward. You don’t play your 20 yr. old rookie future of the franchise out of position unless you get a better benefit than slight improvement in outfield defense.

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  3. CircleChange11 says:

    I thought the bad contracts were Guillen and Meche.

    The Royals seem to be under the impression that they are close to competing, kinda like HOU this year.

    It seems now that maybe both teams realize it’s time for full scale rebuilding.

    I know he’s a great value, but Grienke isn’t helping the Royals compete. I used to think a guy like that would bring 2-3 close to MLB ready talented prospects under team control for 4+ years, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

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  4. 3rd Period Points says:

    I think Tim Collins is the key to this deal. He turns 21 this month and has posted solid K/9’s at every level—15.32 K/9 in 2010 (career 13.37) with a 2.39 FIP (career 2.43) and a 0.96 WHIP (career 1.06).

    I don’t care if he is a midget. If he becomes a useful MR, the Royals would get something for nothing, essentially. Of course, if Dayton Moore thinks Blanco is a legit prospect, any possible upside would be offset by Blanco stealing AB’s from more worthy youngsters.

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    • cavebird says:

      I think it worked for both teams. The Braves get marginally better this year and the Royals get a guy who could be a good lefty reliever who was fourth on the Braves depth chart behind guys who were all young and cheap (Venters, O’Flareghty, Dunn). Chavez and Blanco were relatively meaningless in the deal.

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  5. Paul says:

    I’m not saying Chavez is great, but he’ll be cheap for at least another 3 years, and he is basically a carbon copy of Farnsworth. It’s true that Farnsworth is overpaid, but he’s pitched well for them for two years. McClure got the big arm guy to start throwing the 2 seamer and that made all the difference. Guaranteed he does the same thing with Chavez, which will give him a good chance to be a decent value in the 6-7 innings for a few years. They actually have not had that kind of depth in the bullpen in quite a while, although this year for the most part was not too bad. This is exactly the type of deal they need to be making. For GMDM to turn two guys who nobody thought would fetch any interest for two useful parts (for them) and a legit late inning lefty relief prospect is a very good move. It continues a nice trade deadline week for Dayton. However, if he fails to move Guillen and bring in Kila within the week it’s a failure. They must get that done at any cost.

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  6. Beer me! says:

    The Braves are the only first place team in MLB that failed to fill their needs at the trade deadline. This trade, in a vacuum, is fair and ostensibly helps both teams. However, when looked at alongside the Escobar deal and in the context of the Braves’ current status in the pennant race, Frank Wren’s moves have been somewhere between inadequate and abysmal this July. In an extreme buyer’s market, he acquired zero wins worth of help over what he already had. Pathetic.

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    • nick says:

      It was a buyer’s market if you were looking to acquire overpaid, veterans. Unless you think the Braves should have gone after Vernon Wells, I don’t really see the answer to their CF issues. The only guys that were going for pennies on the dollar seemed to be the big time pitchers, the one thing Atlanta does not need more of. The hitters like Dunn, Hart, Dejesus (before he got hurt), etc were not being offered up for cheap

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      • Mr. Sanchez says:

        I think the common idea is te Braves could have offered similar, it not better packages, than what acquired Ludwick or Berkman. Whether or not Berkman could still move well enough for LF is suspect, but then this is the team that played Garrett Anderson over 100 games there last year and in the event Glaus can’t bounce back to form from his current leg injuries, he can be better than Hinske there. Ludwick is almost ideal to the need, a solid OF who can slug from the right side. Be it in LF, or even RF wth Heyward sliding to CF, he is the most obvious answer to “Who Wren shoul have gotten”.

        Just playing devil’s advocate, that is the easy way to slight Wren, saying he should have been the one to add Ludwick. This aside from giving a general, without any support, argument of he should have moved some of the young, potential front line pitching within the system for a bigger bat that may or may not have even been available (popular sentiment focused on guys like Kemp, Braun and Gutierrez, among others).

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