For Pete's Sake

‘Royals are pulling out all the stops:’ Reaction to Melky Cabrera trade

New Royals outfielder Melky Cabrera.
New Royals outfielder Melky Cabrera. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The Royals’ winning streak ended at nine games on Saturday night in Boston, but obviously that’s not why general manager Dayton Moore made a big trade Sunday.

The goal remains the same for Moore: a third playoff appearance in four season for the Royals.

On Sunday, the Royals traded for outfielder Melky Cabrera, sending a pair of minor-league pitchers to the Chicago White Sox.

The consensus from experts is that the Royals made a good addition to the team.

Josh Norris of Baseball America wrote: “After winning the World Series in 2015, the Royals are pulling out all the stops to reach the pinnacle once more. Earlier this month they fortified their pitching staff by adding Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer and Trevor Cahill from San Diego, and on Sunday afternoon added a little bit of punch to their lagging outfield.

“With Alex Gordon and Brandon Moss slumping this year, the Royals pulled the trigger and welcomed outfielder Melky Cabrera back into the fold...”

Yahoo’s Chris Cwik wrote: “The Royals could use a boost on offense. The club ranks 22nd in the majors with a 90 wRC+, an advanced stat that measures offensive performance. Cabrera has typically been used in left field, and could cut into Alex Gordon’s playing time. Gordon, 33, is hitting just .201/.294/.296 over 362 plate appearances. He’s been one of the worst regulars in the majors this season.”

Matthew Trueblood of Baseball Prospectus wrote: “Kansas City is threading a needle here, and if they don’t get it exactly right, there are a fair few losing seasons between them and the playoffs again. Of course, if they do get it exactly right, they might end up in the playoffs again this year, and then everything feels a little bit different. ...

“After this season, Royals fans will still have Salvador Perez, Danny Duffy, and (perhaps to their chagrin) Alex Gordon to remind them of those World Series runs, but the rest of the stars will likely be gone. While they’re still around—while this team whose commitment to winning the fans reciprocated, and then some, is still mostly out there in the home colors at Kauffman Stadium—the front office and ownership groups have to be sensitive to what any move means. Even if they were only on the very fringe of contention, selling off the core like spare parts would have been a bad look, and since they’re legitimate contenders now, failing to support them with additions to the roster would also have gone over like a lead balloon.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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