On Monday evening, news broke that the Royals had traded for pitchers Ryan Buchter, Trevor Cahill and Brandon Maurer. In acquiring those 3 arms, the Royals gave up Matt Strahm, Travis Wood and Minor Leaguer Esteury Ruiz to the San Diego Padres.
Also included were cash considerations in the amount of $7.2 million to help offset the remaining dollars on Wood's 2 year deal.
A quick look at what the Royals gave up in the trade:
Travis Wood was an offseason addition for the Royals and signed a free agent contract for 2 years and a guaranteed $2 million. He has struggled so far in 2017, posting a 6.91 ERA in 41.2 innings of work mostly out of the bullpen with a few spot starts of late, due primarily to the Royals complete lack of options to fill voids in the starting rotation.
Matt Strahm was a promising left hander who was originally drafted by the Royals in the 21st round of the 2012 draft. He has worked primarily out of the pen with the Royals, but was looking to crack the rotation in the upcoming years. The 25 year old had a 5.71 ERA this season with the Royals, though he had been better of late before his season ended with him going to the disabled list.
Esteury Ruiz is an 18 year old middle infielder from the Dominican Republic who was hitting .404/.432/.753 for Royals Rookie ball in Arizona. He was originally picked up as a 16 year old from the Dominican Republic, and was seen as a bright up-in-coming second baseman, but was still a ways off from making the big leagues.
In exchange for these three, the Royals received starting pitcher Trevor Cahill who immediately improves the Royals rotation. Cahill has 61 innings of 3.69 ERA ball so far in 2017. He did have shoulder issues earlier in the year that are reason for concern, but the Royals medical staff is comfortable enough that this injury is not going to hamper him this season. He has struck out 10.6 batters per 9 innings but has also walked 3.5 per 9 as well. His FIP is 3.39 so indications are his ERA is about where it should be within reason, and with the added benifit of the Royals defense, he should do well in Kansas City provided he stays off of the DL. Cahill will become a free agent at the end of this season.
Brandon Maurer had served as the Padres closer this season, converting 20 saves in 23 opportunities. He has a 5.72 ERA in 39 innings, but advanced stats seem to indicate this may be due to a bit of bad luck. He sports a 3.22 FIP and strikes out close to a batter per inning he pitches. The hard throwing righty will most likely see some action in the 7th inning and after for the Royals. Maurer will remain under club control until 2020.
Ryan Buchter is a 30 year old lefty who has a 3.05 ERA in 38.1 innings of relief so far this season. He has struck out 11 batters per 9 innings, but does also struggle with walks, allowing 4.2 per 9 (18 on the season). He has also been bitten a bit by the home run this year, allowing 7. He has been incredible against left handed batters, but also has shown plenty of ability against righties to not simply be relegated to something of a "Lefty Only" role. With the Royals front office love for strong left handed relievers, it will be interesting to see the role he ends up taking on this season. Buchter will remain under club control until 2022.
These moves certainly signal that the Royals are All-In this season. This was a substantial haul for the Royals, to place 3 new players on the 25 man roster. Dayton has indicated he may not be done yet should another opportunity arise, but it seems logical to think that this is the "big" move for 2017.
We can only hope that Alex Gordon, Brandon Moss and Alcides Escobar have come out of their respective slumps and will not drop below the “Mendoza Line.” What exactly is that!? According to baseball lore, there was once a player for the Pittsburgh Pirates named ... Read more