The Kansas City Royals announced Monday they have acquired closer Brandon Maurer, reliever Ryan Buchter and starting pitcher Trevor Cahill from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Matt Strahm, Travis Wood and Estuery Ruiz.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports broke down the deal for both sides:
For a Royals team battling to earn a postseason berth this season, the deal should help solidify the pitching staff.
Cahill has gone 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.34 WHIP and should indeed slot nicely into the back-end of the team's rotation. Buchter (3.05 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) and Maurer (20 saves in 23 opportunities) are solid additions for the bullpen, meanwhile.
For the Padres, Ruiz is hitting .419 with three homers, 23 RBI and nine stolen bases in 21 games for the Royals' Arizona League squad this season. Strahm has made 24 appearances for the Royals this season (three starts), going 2-5 with a 5.45 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. And the veteran Wood has struggled immensely, going 1-3 with a 6.91 ERA and 1.82 WHIP in 28 appearances (three starts).
Ruiz would seem to be the gem of the bunch for the Padres. Per Passan, "Already hearing a lot of buzz on Ruiz from evaluators who have seen him in Arizona. Really young but wiry strong. Good upside play."
But Passan added, "this is a trade you make if you're KC. It's impossible to project 18-year-olds, and in the last year of this group, you give those up."
Indeed, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar and Jason Vargas are all set to hit free agency this winter. It's hard to imagine the Royals being able to retain all five. So making a move this season, even at the expense of some young and talented prospects, made sense for a team that could see its window shut after this season.