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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Valencia traded to Toronto

The Blue Jays provided some much-needed balance to their lineup Monday afternoon by acquiring infielder Danny Valencia from the Royals in a deal for catcher Erik Kratz and right-hander Liam Hendriks.

Toronto’s batting order is predominantly left-handed and there’s a void on the right side, especially while Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie are on the disabled list.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos attempted to help fix that, and while the trade is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, it does address an area of need.

Paul d mobile Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, royals, trades

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   1. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4759831)
Some random thoughts I had on this:

* Liam Hendriks was freely available all winter—waived separate times by the Twins, Cubs, and Orioles. I still think he can be a good pitcher, it's just…I’m just a little frustrated that the Royals have decided to give up a useful player to get him when they could have had him for nothing.

* Kratz takes over for Brett Hayes, which is a slight improvement, but, again, it still pisses me off, since George Kottaras is likely better than both of them and is also available for nothing (in DFA limbo at the moment). I get that it doesn't matter a ton, since the Royals are not really at a point where what they’re doing with slots 23-25 on their 25-man roster is gonna affect their postseason chances, but it just really annoys me to see them use those assets so terribly.

* One bit of consolation for KC fans: The Royals gave up only David Lough to acquire Dan Valencia last winter. And David Lough is hitting just .205/.281/.311 for Baltimore.

* You Blue Jays fans may really enjoy your Juan Francisco/Danny Valencia platoon—Valencia’s a lifetime .333/.369/.510 hitter against lefties (~500 PAs), and we all know how well Francisco mashes righties.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4759856)
A head-scratching trade by the Royals for sure. My guess is they felt they could no longer carry two third-basemen who really can't play anywhere else AND carry 12 pitchers AND the rotting corpse of Raul Ibanez, so they decided to jettison Valencia to cure the roster glut a bit and get a true reserve middle infielder on the roster (Christian Colon was called up). I'm guessing the return didn't really matter that much as long as they got some useful players, and Brett Hayes was really struggling offensively and defensively, so Kratz, as lousy as he is, was seen as an upgrade. Hendriks is just someone to say they got something for Valencia.

Basically, its one of those deals where they were going to release him pretty soon, but he's good enough that you'd say "why didn't they get at least SOMETHING for him." Well, this is "something."
   3. PreservedFish Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4759865)
Hendriks isn't the worst 7th starter to have. I'd probably rather have Valencia, though.
   4. geonose Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4759878)
Liam Hendriks was freely available all winter—waived separate times by the Twins, Cubs, and Orioles.

Every time he was claimed by a team ahead of the Royals in waiver claim order, so they never actually had a chance at him.

... George Kottaras is likely better than both of them and is also available for nothing.

I'm not sure that's true. Kottaras is a brutal catcher defensively; both Hayes and Kratz are better. Kottaras can't hit except for the occasional home run. (He sure can take a walk, though.) Kratz has a bit of pop. Hayes can't hit at all. All in all, the three may be semi-interchangeable. Kratz is the oldest of the bunch, though.

Probably more telling about Kottaras is the growing number of whispers around the industry that he is kind of an all-around bad guy. Rude publicly (there is talk that the Royals found him an embarrassment), bad in the clubhouse, hard to get along with, that sort of thing. That could partially explain why he is on a claim/DFA merry-go-round and why the DFAs seems to come so quickly.

And anyway, why not Francisco Pena?

Valencia has been pretty useless this year. All in all it's a pretty "meh" trade. I wonder if the Royals feel they can do something with Hendricks. If so, that would be the key to the whole thing.

   5. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 29, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4759899)
#2--The frustrating thing is that the Royals have two corner infielders who've pretty clearly demonstrated they cannot hit lefties (Moustakas and Hosmer)....and then they just traded a corner infielder who mashes them.
   6. DKDC Posted: July 29, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4759914)
So the Royals sold high on Lough but then sold low on Valencia?
   7. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 29, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4759925)
Lough has still been worth more than Valencia this year because of his fielding.
   8. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4759983)
I'm not sure that's true. Kottaras is a brutal catcher defensively; both Hayes and Kratz are better. Kottaras can't hit except for the occasional home run. (He sure can take a walk, though.) Kratz has a bit of pop. Hayes can't hit at all. All in all, the three may be semi-interchangeable. Kratz is the oldest of the bunch, though.


Hayes has a career OPS+ of 61, Kratz 80. They are bad hitters.

Kotteras has a career OPS+ of 99. That makes him a decent hitter, very good for a catcher. It doesn't matter too much whether he does it with all singles or a pile of walks mixed with the occasional home runs, he makes less outs and more runs than the other two.

He may not be good, but defensive metrics don't see George as a butcher either.

But even more important, Kotteras bats left. Perez bats right, just as Kratz and Hayes do. It seems to me if you need someone to spell Perez, you'd want their starts vs RHP since Perez smokes lefties like they are being given away as free samples in Colorado. Kratz/Hayes don't hit righties well while Kotteras does. So Kotteras has a big offensive edge in the most likely games for the backup to start.

So KC traded away value when a better fitting player was available for free? Standard. I guess handedness is too advanced a metric for the Royals. And as far as Kotteras clubhouse persona, can't they tell him to dress and shower in hugs room? Or ask the sensitive souls in the locker room to suck it up?
   9. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4759990)
Every time he was claimed by a team ahead of the Royals in waiver claim order, so they never actually had a chance at him.


And doesn't this exactly mean he was easily acquirable for any non prospect or even a small collection of non scuffed baseballs?
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4759992)
Over the last 2 years George Kottaras has been traded for nothing by the Brewers, released by the A's, traded for nothing by the Royals, released by the Cubs, released by the Indians, and released by the Cardinals. It may be time to reconsider our notion that he's an extremely valuable player.
   11. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 29, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4759996)
No one's saying Kottaras is an extremely valuable player; just that he's as valuable as Brett Hayes or Erik Kratz.

Because if Kottaras is as good as Kratz, then it makes no sense to trade away an asset like Danny Valencia--and he IS an asset, he had the 4th highest OPS on this joke team of Royal midgets, and on most nights is probably their best option against LHPs--when you could have just picked up Kottaras for free.
   12. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4760075)
Valencia made his ML debut at first base for Toronto tonight.
   13. Zach Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4760555)
Hard to get too worked up about a trade of spare parts, but I would have thought Valencia would be the spare part the Royals would trade for, not trade away. Is the idea that Christian Colon is going to take away his playing time, plus back up the middle infield?

Wasn't there a time when lefty-mashing corner infielders were seen as fungible quantities? If so, could somebody please sign the Royals up for the catalog?
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4760579)

#2--The frustrating thing is that the Royals have two corner infielders who've pretty clearly demonstrated they cannot hit lefties (Moustakas and Hosmer)....and then they just traded a corner infielder who mashes them.


And Emilio Bonifacio, who the Royals let go in spring training, is hitting .408/.432/.592 against lefties this year.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4760584)


And doesn't this exactly mean he was easily acquirable for any non prospect or even a small collection of non scuffed baseballs?


Could be the Royals didn't have a 40 man roster spot they wanted to part with back then, and now they do.

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