The Kansas City Royals have been in dire need of starting pitching for a very long time. So when they traded an outfielder coming off of a career year for a pitcher who once threw a no-hitter (left-handed pitcher Ryan Verdugo was also acquired), everyone thought it was a great idea. However, hindsight is always 20/20.
If it wasn't bad enough that Jonathan Sanchez has been a nonentity on the mound, Melky Cabrera is carrying over the success he had in Kansas City last season into 2012, but now in a San Francisco Giants uniform.
Sanchez's latest start is all Royals fans needed to make the armchair-general manager decision to rid the city of the stench left behind by a 7.76 ERA. If it were only that easy right?
The lefty's ERA ballooned to that exorbitant number after giving up seven earned runs while recording just four outs during Monday night's 9-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
Sanchez owns a 1-6 record and has issued 44 walks against just 36 strikeouts in 53.1 innings. He has made 12 starts and lasted six innings in just one of them. Translation: downright abysmal.
If Cabrera had simply reverted back to being your average, journeyman outfielder, this trade would still be lopsided in favor of the Giants. But he has been nothing but spectacular in the San Francisco outfield this season, making last year's performance with the Royals look like chump change.
Cabrera is hitting .353/.391/.514 with eight home runs, 45 runs batted in, 55 runs scored, 18 doubles, seven triples, 10 stolen bases and 122 hits. While he received a warm welcome in his return to Kansas City to represent the Giants in the All-Star Game, his MVP performance poured more salt into the wound left by this awful trade.
If Cabrera's full-time replacement in center field for the Royals could have done something to help balance out the two sides, it would have provided a much softer landing when forced to watch Sanchez toe the rubber every five days. But Lorenzo Cain has missed most of the season due to injury, leaving fans with zilch in the way of a positive perspective on this entire situation.
Sanchez has shown flashes of brilliance during his career, but has done little-to-nothing since 2010. Intuition says to keep him around in an attempt to save face, but Dayton Moore and Ned Yost can't afford to continue running out a guy who lacks the support of a fanbase that desperately needs a winner.
Major League Baseball is a business and sometimes tough business decisions need to be made. No hard feelings Mr. Sanchez, but your time in Kansas City has hopefully expired.
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