Melky Cabrera, Jonathan Sanchez And Trading Inconsistencies

The Royals traded outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Giants for lefty starter Jonathan Sanchez and minor league lefty Ryan Verdugo.

Cabrera had his career year in 2011 batting .305 with a .339 on base; 44 doubles, 18 homers, and 20 stolen bases. He’s doesn’t have much range in center field and has a tendency to grow lax when he feels too comfortable in his position as an everyday player.

Since he’s arbitration-eligible and a free agent after 2012, the Giants aren’t going to get “lazy Melky”; they’ll get the Melky looking to get paid. Considering the capricious contracts the Giants have doled out in recent years, they shouldn’t let this acquisition and Cabrera’s 2011 be a catalyst to sign him to a long-term deal.

Sanchez is a prototypically aggravating lefty who’s hard to hit, is capable of pitching a no-hitter (which he’s already done) at any time or might walk 8 batters in 3 innings. He’s never pitched 200 innings in a season. His stuff is so vicious that he’s able to walk a bunch of hitters and dance through the raindrops; he’s a pitcher who teams want because of his talent and want to strangle when they have him because he’s so inconsistent and has the ability to be so much more.

He too is eligible for arbitration and is a free agent after 2012.

Verdugo is a lefty with big strikeout numbers; the Giants made him into a starter after three minor league seasons in the bullpen.

The Giants made a decision that they’d clear the salary of Sanchez and hope that Ryan Vogelsong has actually figured it out at age 34. Is he a Rick Reed? Or is he a Kent Bottenfield? Is he a good pitcher who needed to alter his approach and receive a chance? Or is he a veteran journeyman who had that one good year and will revert into what he always was?

If Giants fans are expecting the team to pursue a big time bat after acquiring Cabrera, re-signing Javier Lopez and exercising the option on Jeremy Affeldt, they can forget it. The contracts of Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson are coming up; Barry Zito isn’t coming off the books until after 2013. Bill Neukom was said to have been forced out because of his perceived unilateral spending practices. The Giants are not going to be players for Jose Reyes.

With the Royals, Sanchez is worth a shot in exchange for Cabrera and the 24-year-old lefty Verdugo with the big K numbers is valuable to have.

This was a “we can afford him” move for the Giants with Cabrera; and a roll of the dice gamble by the Royals on Sanchez’s talent, plus the value of the minor league lefty arm.

It’s understandable on both ends.

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  1. #1 by Giants Lover on November 8, 2011 - 7:58 pm

    Verdugo is a legit lefty prospect. He has about 10 different fastballs! He will be a great asset to the roster

  2. #2 by Snoozy on November 10, 2011 - 3:59 am

    Dude, it’s Bill Neukom, not Bob. Your knee jerk reaction that Melky will be playing for a contract and that’s all is simplistic. The Giants needed hitting, this was the best guy that Sabean felt he could get. I do agree that it would not be a great idea to sign Melky longterm, his 2011 does have career year written all over. it.

    • #3 by admin on November 10, 2011 - 1:16 pm

      Oh, I apologize for my mistaking the guy’s name.
      Good grief.
      Apart from nitpicking a typo, I dunno what your argument is because you’re pretty much agreeing with what I wrote.

  3. #4 by kyle on November 19, 2011 - 6:34 am

    I like this trade but am very anxious for this reason, Barry Zito is done….his velocity has dropped and I feel like he is not even going to be able to replicate his earlier seasons with the giants when he was an average 5th starter at best. Surkamp really does not impress me, another 88mph top out pitcher with average secondary pitches. So IF Sanchez could even replicate his 2010 numbers (where he LEAD THE MAJORS in opponent batting average), the giants would have had 2 really good 4th starters in the 4th and 5th spots with Voglesong and Sanchez…what a dream. Ofcourse chances are Sanchez has an inconsistent 2012 and we got an average leadoff hitter (HUGE upgrade over other options) with ability to hit some extra base hits. Time will tell, but I DO NOT like our current options at the 5th starter spot….Tsyoshi Wada? Can we afford Javier Vazquez?

    • #5 by admin on November 19, 2011 - 7:57 am

      They wanted to clear the salary and upgrade the offense. I’d have gone after Nick Swisher but he was far more expensive financially and apparently Brian Cashman doesn’t like Sanchez’s wildness.
      Zito’s not going anywhere so the best thing you can do is hope.
      The front three with Lincecum, Cain and Bumgarner is going to be good the majority of the time; Sanchez is an explosion waiting to happen; I’d have waited to see whether I could’ve extracted a better bat for him than Cabrera—probably until January—but Sabean’s aggressive. For better or worse.

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