So, Kansas City traded their best player--along with their shortstop--to the Brewers for Jake Odorizzi, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffres, and Alcides Escobar.
There certainly were rumors all over the place over the last month or so regarding Grienke's desire to leave the somewhat sorry Royals, and now he is off to the NL Central, and now not necessarily a better situation.
But, we will leave that for tomorrow, or another column or blog or day.
Let's just look at a list of just what Kansas City suddenly has to work with and really build a new team, with youngsters, a la the Rays, who have done the best job in recent years, of exactly that.
- Kila Ka'aihue: power and patience at first base.
- Eric Hosmer: first round selection in 2008 (#3 overall), also a first sacker.
- Clint Robinson: yet another first sack prospect, led the Texas League with 29 homers in 2010.
- Johnny Giavotella: second sacker of the future, was the hits leader in the Texas League in 2010
- Mike Moutsakas: probably the best prospect the Royals have, future third sacker will be in Kansas City by 2012, at the latest.
- Lorenzo Cain: center fielder/lead off hitter, with some speed and an ability to get on base.
- Danny Duffy: 359 strikeouts over 308 minor league innings.
- Jake Odorizzi: 197 strikeouts over 188 minor league innings.
- Alex Gordon: with the pressure off, relegated to left field, Gordon can play his game and be more than useful.
Now, this list does not include Escobar, a shortstop prospect proably as potentially productive as Bettancourt, backstop Brayan Pena, additional hurlers Luke Hochevar and Kyle Davies, and the man who will be a DH fixture now and presently the Royals best hitter, Billy Butler.
What this also means is players like Mike Aviles, who is really best suited to the bench, can fill that role, and the Royals can forget about trying to get a solid starter's numbers out of players like him, or used parts like Wilson Betemit and Jason Kendall.
When I first seriously started playing fantasy games, the Royals of the late 70's were the team I played in APBA and then Strat-O-Matic. Those teams were great, well constructed--from within--and they made Kansas City serious contenders for a decade.
I am hoping this big trade--for it is a gamble by the Royals, albeit a caculated one--will turn the tide for KC and give them a fun new and competitive team.