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A Voice of Reason: The Alberto Callaspo Trade Rumors

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 24: Alberto Callaspo #13 of the Kansas City Royals swings at the pitch during the game against the Boston Red Sox on September 24, 2009 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Josh DugganCorrespondent INovember 10, 2009

Sunday night, Bob Dutton reported that the Royals are rumored to be interested in shipping Alberto Callaspo to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 28-year-old (29 in April) catcher A.J. Ellis.  Seeing as though Ellis has worked his way up to a grand total of 13 plate appearances in two September call-ups at that advanced an age, it is hard to get overly excited about the prospect of this deal.

It is that exact lack of excitement that has permeated the Royals blogosphere in the last day-and-a-half.

Now, if a deal were to be completed consisting solely of Alberto Callaspo and A.J. Ellis, then the Royals will unequivocally have been taken to the cleaners. 

The thing is, I really can't imagine that Dayton Moore would pull the trigger on a deal in which the Royals only net a soon to be 29-year-old minor league catcher whose AAA stats benefit from having been inflated by playing in the PCL and his home games in Las Vegas and then Albuquerque. 

While playing for the Isotopes in 2009, his road split was .262/.369/.315/.685 while his home split was an absurd .359/.492/.425/.917.  Moreover, his road split from this past season is very much in line with his career lines at his stops along the lower levels of the minors, all in climates less arid and at elevations a lot closer to sea level.  Despite his consistently high walk rates, the sudden statistical leap forward reeks of being the minor league equivalent of the pre-humidor Rockies' numbers.  

If Dayton Moore were to trade Callaspo for Ellis straight up, he would be trading an admittedly defensively challenged second baseman who is two years younger than Ellis, still one year away from arbitration-eligibility*, and carrier of an OPS of 114 last season for an entirely unproven, light hitting catcher who is supposedly defensively sound. 

It is probably fair to say that a large segment of the Royals fan base is losing, or has already lost faith in Dayton Moore after a disastrous offseason heading into the 2009 season.

It probably is not fair to think that Dayton Moore is hapless enough to pull the trigger on a one-for-one deal like this. 

Last year's offseason left us scratching our heads, as did the trades of the troubled pair of Daniels this summer, but even I cannot imagine that Dayton Moore would send Callaspo to the Dodgers for only A.J. Ellis. 

That deal, even after taking into account the likelihood that Callaspo's power numbers are likely to come back down a bit next season, would be absolutely moronic.  So moronic that I refuse to believe Dayton Moore would pull the trigger on a trade that ridiculous.

Failing to get at least two replacement level Major Leaguers with some upside (or one legitimate big leaguer) back for Callaspo, one of the only desirable trading chips the Royals have, would be an unmitigated disaster.

Dayton Moore may have made a bunch of questionable moves lately, but he couldn't possibly be that insane.

I hope.

*Apparently Callaspo has fallen six days short of the requisite service time to qualify as a "Super Two."

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