Wednesday, November 19, 2008

News!

Where there was once no news, there is now apparently a wealth of it. As soon as I wax ecstatic about the potential of Felix Pie and the merits of trading Mark Teahen for him, the Royals go out and trade Ramon Ramirez for Coco Crisp.

First, it would seem to me that this trade negates any need for Felix Pie. And while Rany seems to think that Dutton was saying that the Cubs would be willing to give up Pie and Cedeno/Fontenot, it did not appear that way to me.

Personally, if I had to choose between Pie and Crisp, I would prefer that the Royals take the chance and roll the dice on the greater upside. That lies with Felix Pie in my eyes.

Maybe I am misreading what Bob Dutton was reporting. If the Royals can trade Mark Teahen and get both Felix Pie and a middle infielder, then I am all for that. I would take any of the guys in the Cubs conversation over the last four or five guys on the Royals 40 man roster.

Wishing aside, this deal does make the Royals better in my opinion. The Royals are flush with fly-ball pitchers, and at the very least a left two-thirds of the outfield consisting of David DeJesus and Coco Crisp is a formidable defensive pairing. A Coco Crisp patrolled centerfield is one in which few fly balls will come into contact with grass.

As far as his bat is concerned, his years in Boston were a letdown for Sawx Nation, but looking back to his low-pressure seasons in Cleveland, he was pretty solid posting a .297/.344/.446 line in 2004 and a .300/.345/.465 line in 2005. Granted, he had three seasons in Boston since then, and those seasons were a less impressive than his Cleveland campaigns, but his worst OBP in Boston was .317 in 2006. He followed that up with much more respectable .330 and .344 OBPs the past two years--and if there's one thing we Royals fans are preoccupied with of late, it is that cursed OBP.

While offensive performance somewhere above his output in Boston would not be outrageous, to expect that it would come to where it was at Jacobs Field is not realistic either. Realistically, he could recreate his 2008 ratios in a lower pressure situation but less hitter-friendly park, and one would imagine with a certain degree of safety that his counting stats will jump up considerably with him presumably seeing a lot of playing time. Whether he ever reaches the levels of power at the K that he flashed in Cleveland in his last two seasons there (15 and 16 home runs) is unlikely, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12 home runs is possible if he reaches the realm of 550 plate appearances.

As for Ramon Ramirez, the Royals got him for a player to be named later--eventually that guy was Jorge de la Rosa, who had gone long past running his course with Kansas City. Ramirez was very solid last year, but essentially cost the Royals very little to acquire and then was turned around for a centerfielder who makes it so that David DeJesus (if he remains a Royal) can move to left without forcing Joey Gathright's bat into the lineup.

Ramon's ERA was a respectable 2.64, and his stuff was overpowering enough to bring him an 8.79 K/9. These numbers were the numbers that jumped out at Royals fans as the reassurances that K.C. had found an option at closer that would enable Joakim Soria to the rotation. What those numbers fail to show is that his WHIP was a solid but not outstanding 1.23 and his HR/FB% was 3.0%. Even in the K, that HR/FB% was bound to come back up next season, as a continuation at that standard would probably have been unsustainable.

Even if Ramon Ramirez could repeat his 2008 campaign for the Royals, I do not see that as being more valuable than what the addition of Coco Crisp enables the Royals to do--even if that means that the Royals do not obtain the services of Felix Pie.

At the very least, Coco Crisp is a better add than Mike Jacobs was, as there are clear benefits to this addition that need little defense. So today, it is bravo, Dayton Moore. Bravo.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I also would rather have had Pie just because of his upside. I'm not impressed with Crisp and he has no business batting leadoff but I'm sure he will.