I'm about to do something that surprises even me - I'm going
to praise Dayton Moore for trading one of my favorite Royals prospects.
You read that right. But the key word is trading - as in, getting something in
return for him. While the massive off-field saga of Daniel Gutierrez was going
on this spring and into the summer, I thought it was inevitable that Moore would just get
tired of the shenanigans and release DGuz.
Daniel, though I'm fond of him, did a lot of things that would
have justified a release if that's the route Moore wanted to take. He assaulted a woman in
a bar. He quarreled with the team over a rehab assignment. He openly snubbed
the organization that signed him in favor of the Boras Corp.* He was suspended for all of 2007.
*I'm not offended that
he signed with Boras.
But his choosing to work through his shoulder injury at Boras facilities instead of in Surprise
looked kind of bitchy.
That's quite a laundry list. Again, DGuz has been one of my
favorites for a while now, but I wouldn't really have blamed GMDM for releasing
was patient. Moore
waited until Gutierrez was healthy and drama-free enough to pitch, and Danny
pitched well. In 8 games (4 starts), Guz struck out 25 and walked 7. His ERA was 1.65. His BB/9 was much lower than his career rate, and K/9 was better than every prior season except his exceptional 2008.
And in return for his patience, Moore got Rangers officials to think
favorably enough for Gutierrez to send over two of their players. Off the top
of my head, I can freely admit that I know nothing about Manuel Pina and Tim Smith. But,
in my mind, the alternative to receiving Pina and Smith was receiving nothing
and releasing DGuz, because DGuz's actions pretty much merited a release.
I loved Gutierrez as a prospect, and he cooperated fabulously
when I wanted to write about him during Spring Training. I know he's not the
devil, or even a bad guy overall. I'm not saying that Mooreshould
have released him. I'm just surprised that he didn't, and pleased he waited
long enough to get a two-player return on the former 33rd-rounder.