by John Viril—
With the July 31 trade deadline now only hours away (3 PM Eastern), it now appears the Kansas City Royals will stand pat. When beat reporter Bob Dutton asked an unnamed club official on Tuesday night if anything was “cooking”, he replied, “The stove isn’t even on.”
If nothing develops between now and 3 PM Eastern time, Dayton Moore has missed an opportunity.
Either Moore should “go for it” and do SOMETHING to address his black hole at 2nd base. Or, he should cut bait and deal pitcher Ervin Santana to either Atlanta or St. Louis. Standing pat is a bad result.
I don’t expect the Royals to make an outrageously bad deal. If the Angels refuse to deal Erick Aybar or if Howie Kendrick doesn’t want to come to KC, I don’t expect Moore to move heaven and earth to make a trade. But, Billy Beane in Oakland was able to land Alberto Callaspo to fill his hole at 2B for Grant Green (.325/.379/.500 at AAA). While Royals fans very well know that Callaspo is hardly an ideal solution due to a poor glove at 2nd, he’s better than a bleeding hole in the batting order during a playoff run.
I’m not saying the Royals should have been in on Callaspo. What I am saying is a smart GM like Beane knows enough to patch holes even if the price is higher than he’d like. Green is a former no. 1 draft pick who is now 25 years old. While Green still has upside, Beane apparently does not believe he will become a great player and can accept moving him.
I cannot imagine there is NO ONE available, even if Moore has to slightly overpay for a bench player that can play second—such as Kevin Frandsen.
On the other hand, if Moore decides his team’s chances aren’t good enough to make even a minor deal, then he should have the guts to sell. The Matt Garza deal shows that the very comparable Ervin Santana could land far greater value in trade than he would in draft pick compensation were the Royals to lose him in free agency next winter.
I can accept either of these decisions. What I cannot fathom is the wisdom of doing nothing. That’s the coward’s play. That’s what a GM does when he doesn’t trust his own evaluation ability and fears that a bad deal will get him fired.
If nothing else, Moore should recognize that he might not get many more chances to make a move that would secure his job.