Great Lakes Royals

September 4, 2009 11:25 PM

The Royals, Dayton Moore, need to have big September

Yesterday, the Royals traded one of their top prospects, Danny Gutierrez, to the Texas Rangers.  Left unqualified, a scored fan might assume that Dayton Moore is at it again.  But this trade might have been more than just simple damage control.

The Royals once again dealt some pitching depth for young lineup depth.  But the guys received in this trade might be more than depth.  Manuel Pino is a Catcher who the Royals have promoted aggressively to Double-A Northwest Arkansas.  He's 22.  Tim Smith is a 23 year old OF with a line of .309/.380/.439 in Double-A after soaring through Advanced A ball earlier this year with a .888 OPS.

It's clear that the Royals are making true on their word to build their roster from within, but the fact of the matter is: they have no choice.  Payroll can not be expanded, and no matter what they choose to do with Jose Guillen, his contract doesn't come off the books until after the 2010 season.  So payroll needs to be cut in other ways: some non-tenders and no splashes in the free agent market.  And that means, for this team with many holes: aggressive promotions.

So the Royals have to find some solutions this September, or it's hard to see anything but a last place finish in 2010.  Maybe the team will dump Jose Guillen's salary and release him.  They'll decline Coco Crisp's $8 million option, but it's possible he'll be back.  The DH (Jacobs) and Catchers (Olivo and Buck) appear to be non-tender candidates.  So in this one trade, the Royals were able to add potential future solutions at two positions.

Neither is a strong prospect, though Smith is intriguing, which makes it all the more important that Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman DO find someone, anyone that can play in September.  Simply: someone else besides Zack Greinke must help the team win.

On that note, Gil Meche has been scratched from his start tonight, two days after Brian Bannister left with an injury.  That's not a good start.

We'll see if the September call-ups can salvage a few games this season.

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