Jonathan Sanchez: 5 Reasons the KC Royals Got a Steal for Melky Cabrera
Left-handed starter Jonathan Sanchez, a key contributor to the 2010 World Series-winning campaign, was sent along with minor-leaguer Ryan Verdugo for Royals center-fielder Melky Cabrera.
It was a trade that both teams needed to make, as San Francisco desperately needs help in their outfield, while Kansas City is seeking some adequate production from their starting rotation.
Overall, I see this as a great deal from the Royals perspective.
Here are five reasons why KC got a steal in this trade with the Giants.
Melky Cabrera Has Been Inconsistent Throughout His Career
The Giants might have thought that they got an improving player in Melky Cabrera in this trade.
However, all they got was an outfielder whose struggles with inconsistency on both offense and defense have been well-chronicled.
If you look at Melky's career stats, you will see that he tends to have a solid year, only to be followed by a less than spectacular campaign.
With Cabrera having the best season of his career in 2011, its only natural to think that he will regress some in 2012.
Stud CF Prospect Lorenzo Cain Will Now Take over in 2012
This might be the biggest reason why this trade was a steal for the Royals.
With highly-regarded center-field prospect Lorenzo Cain waiting in the wings—just one of the Royals' uber-talented farm system—Kansas City might even upgrade the position next season with Cain taking over full-time.
The former Brewers prospect hit .312 with 16 homers and 81 RBI while stealing 16 bases in 128 games last season for Triple-A Omaha.
The 25-year-old has a bright future ahead of him, and could very well could make KC fans forget all about Cabrera in 2012 and beyond.
The Royals Have Another Lefty in Their Starting Rotation
This was an area that KC badly needed to address heading into next season.
With the youthful Danny Duffy likely being the only starting left-handed pitcher to return in '12, Royals GM Dayton Moore knew that he had to get a deal done to acquire another solid lefty for the rotation.
He did just that in sealing the arrival of Sanchez.
In fact, Sanchez even has the talent to become one of the team's best starters this season.
Jonathan Sanchez Should Help Bolster a Weak Rotation
There is no guarantee that Sanchez will dominate in 2012, but he should improve the KC starting rotation with his presence.
He will be just two years removed from a season where he won 13 games, while posting a 3.07 ERA and striking out 205 batters. Last season, he managed only four wins with a 4.26 ERA, largely due to battling biceps tendinitis.
In a rotation that was one of the worst in MLB last season, Sanchez is an immediate upgrade who has experience pitching in the biggest games.
I expect Sanchez to win at least 10 games for this team next season and give the Royals another serviceable starter who can eat up some innings.
Prospect Ryan Verdugo Could Help the Royals Down the Road
I realize that I might be going out on a limb on this one.
However, I think that Verdugo has a chance to make an impact for the Royals in a few seasons.
He is only 24, and has gone 21-7 with a 3.14 ERA, while striking out 300 hitters in 243 innings during his four-year career in the minors.
Plus, it doesn't hurt to have another talented pitching prospect in your farm system for the future, either for help within your own organization or simply to provide an adequate trade option.
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