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dayton-moores-insanity | December | 2010 Articles

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Dayton Moore's Insanity

Written by Joe Lucia on .

Dayton Moore is the former Braves scouting director, and now, GM of the Kansas City Royals. As Royals GM, his team has drafted really well. But when it comes to the other major parts of being a general manager (trading and signing players), Moore has failed miserably. I'm sure most of you know his hit list by now: signing the malcontent Jose Guillen for three years, signing Mike Jacobs when Kila Ka'aihue was ready in AAA, giving a wild card reliever in Kyle Farnsworth two years, signing Rick Ankiel, trading for Yuniesky Betancourt when no one wanted him, trading David DeJesus for a quarter on the dollar. It's been a really bad two months for Moore, as in addition to the DeJesus trade back in November, he signed former Braves (and two of the worst players in baseball over the past couple of seasons) Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera to START in his outfield. But I'm not here to talk about any of those moves. No, I'm here to talk about what Moore did early this morning.

He traded Zack Greinke (and Betancourt) to the Milwaukee Brewers for a package that looks more like what the Royals got for Carlos Beltran or Johnny Damon than what the Indians got for Bartolo Colon. The deal lines up as follows: Greinke and Betancourt will be heading to Milwaukee, and coming back to KC will be starting shortstop Alcides Escobar, relief prospect Jeremy Jeffress, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, and A-ball pitcher Jake Odorizzi. Of these four guys, the only one who looks like he has any star quality is Odorizzi, who is a minimum of two of three years away from being able to contribute in KC. That about sums up Moore's philosophy: constantly build for the future while ignorning the present. Cain is ready to play in the majors, but the Royals suddenly have a glut of outfielders that they shouldn't have, with Alex Gordon being switched to left field last season to the delight of bloggers everywhere who love reveling in Moore's follies, and of course, the signings of Cabrera and Francoeur to play every day. He had Cabrera penciled in as his starting center fielder. Braves fans know how much of a disaster that would be.

So why am I ranting about Dayton Moore on this Braves website? Well, the reason is simple. I know the Braves didn't have much interest in Greinke because of his contract and the team's inability to pick up any more payroll, but they couldn't have topped that horrible offer? It looks like the Royals wanted a major league ready shortstop and center fielder, and some pitching. Brandon Hicks has roughly as much pop in his bat as Escobar, and couldn't be much worse than the Brewers' prospect. But worse comes to worse, give them Alex Gonzalez. Or Diory Hernandez. Whatever the case, the Braves have players in the upper minors roughly as talented as Escobar, who was worth 0.6 WAR in his rookie season last year in 145 games. Just the kind of guy you can build a team around. When it comes to a major league ready center fielder, I discussed Cain around here maybe a week and a half ago, when it was rumored that the Braves were talking about him at the winter meetings. Jordan Schafer has more potential than Cain, and assuming his wrist is healthy, he's ready for the majors. But who knows if he'd even need to be ready, with that logjam of outfielders I mentioned earlier. And when it comes to pitching, the Braves are flush in it. Brandon Beachy is an excess arm in the organization right now, and is better than both Odorizzi and Jeffress. Jeffress' future is in the bullpen, and it's still borderline whether or not Beachy will be a starter or in the bullpen...but at least that option is still on the table. As for Odorizzi? The Braves have arms like him all over the place in the low minors. Pick whatever one you want down in Myrtle Beach or Rome. We could make it work.

I don't know why I'm so fired up about this. The deal wasn't going to happen because of the payroll constraints. But man, it irritates me so much to see Moore doing a deal that got him 50 cents on the dollar for a real hot commodity in Greinke. If only the Braves could have gotten involved in trade talks with a team like the Yankees to try to shift Lowe's contract to them...but it's a pipe dream at this point. Over and done with. Greinke is a Brewer, and life will go on. It's just a shame he couldn't be a Brave.
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