The Kansas City Royals’ official Twitter account is reporting that the San Francisco Giants have traded left handed pitchers Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo to the Royals for outfielder Melky Cabrera.

Okay, before we all go nuts and call this the most San Francisco Giantsest trade of all time, let’s pause for a second to remember that Jonathan Sanchez, despite a decent 2010, was probably a non-tender candidate for the Giants In addition to the $5 million plus that he projects to earn next season through arbitration, his 2011 was marred with injury and a horrible 15% walk rate. His fastball’s velocity declined for the third straight year and in his 19 starts last season, he went past the sixth inning a grand total of three times.

This was all while pitching in the friendliest division for pitchers in the league. Not only was Sanchez fifth on the starting pitcher depth chart, it has to remembered how easy it is to turn an average pitcher into a decent one in the National League West. Ryan Vogelsong, anyone?

Cabrera, coming off the best year of his career at the age of 27, can likely be expected to steal some at bats away from the light hitting Andres Torres, especially against left handed pitchers. The switch hitter who mainly played center field last season in Kansas City, but has experience playing both of the corner outfield spots, could also fill in for the imminently departing Cody Ross.

MLB Trade Rumors projects that Cabrera will earn $4.4 million in his final year of arbitration in 2012. The Royals have a much cheaper center field option in Lorenzo Cain, who was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Zack Greinke deal, waiting in the wings.

As for the other element of the deal, everything you need to know about Verdugo can be learned by the following fact: he’s a 24 year old Double A southpaw, who Baseball America ranked as the 25th best prospect in the Giants organization. Let’s refer to him as a JAOP, just above organizational player.

Overall take: It’s an okay deal for both teams. Paying $5 million plus for a fifth starter is too much for the Giants to afford. Paying $4 million plus for a center fielder when Lorenzo Cain is in your system is too much for the Royals to afford.

Comments (4)

  1. I can not believe Cabrera is only 27. He seems to have been around so much longer. Not a bad trade for the Giants. I am still curious to see how trading Wheeler is going to work out for them. Also you guys might have mentioned this but do the Giants get a 1st round pick if Beltran signs some where else. (assuming the team he signs with is in the bottom 15 or top 15 however you decide to look at it)?

    • I still contend trading Wheeler may have been the worst Giantlike move in ages. Trading an elite pitching prospect for 2 months of an injury riddled free agent to be who can’t be offered arbitration simply because there was a belief they had to respectably defend their title?

      • I understand why they did it. And Beltran was pretty fantastic down the stretch. Unfortunately, no on else was. If the rest of the team picks it up just a little bit, San Francisco is in the playoffs when they otherwise wouldn`t have been. It sucks that it didn`t work out, but bringing back Burrell (even at a discount) and re-signing Huff remain far worse moves.

  2. Beltran`s contract makes it so that his team can`t offer him arbitration.

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