Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Fly Route

July 12, 2007

I hope Dayton Moore's a better general manager than I am.

I hope that for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being if I'm that good of a general manager, I'm not currently making nearly enough money for myself.

I'm afraid I'm not much of a general manager, though. I only manage one team, my fantasy baseball team, and despite excellent results in the past, this year's efforts have been pretty ugly. It's a league where at the end of the season I'll be allowed to keep six or seven players for next year's team.

Hopelessly in 14th place in my 14-team league, it's time for me to start trading. Maybe this year is gone, but I've got some young talent, a few studs and plenty of middle-of-the-road guys that a good GM could package together to grab young talent away from other teams.

I don't think I'm a good GM though, because I can't decide. I talk and inquire, check and compute all sorts of different offers, then sit absolutely paralyzed, unable to pull the trigger on any deal that isn't mind-numbingly obvious.

Moore doesn't have that same luxury. As Major League Baseball's season resumes after the All-Star break, Moore is left with potentially the most important three weeks of the season -- the days leading to the trade deadline. The deadline this year July 31, and I can only hope Moore will be as active this season as he was last.

My hope for Moore to be active doesn't mean he was brilliant a year ago. Mostly it means I was impressed with how many darts he put in the air, and remain hopeful a few of those can still find a bull's-eye.

Trades for outfielder Joey Gathright, starting pitcher Odalis Perez and minor league pitcher Tyler Lumsden might not be classified as good right now, but at least don't appear to have been disasters.

Picking up Ryan Shealy, on the other hand, appears to be closer to a disaster.

The point isn't so much how all those trades work out, it's the potential they had to work out when they happened.

Technically there's still hope for Shealy. Gathright has looked much better this season than last, and Lumsden could play a major role in a few years. If even one of those guys blossoms as a part of the team, the Royals will be ahead. A similar attack this year --rabbing a lot of potential for whatever short-term assets the Royals have -- could only help.

As for what I'd do, I'd trade Jason LaRue.

The Royals picked him up in the offseason to compete for the catcher's job, and to me, that competition has run its course. LaRue's played in 36 games this season -- enough for meaningful stats -- and he's hitting a scorching .188 with three home runs and 10 RBIs.

LaRue has hit as many as 16 home runs and collected up to 60 RBIs in past seasons, but those days are clearly gone. He'd need to play through the fall and straight on to spring training if he's to get those numbers this season.

Still, he continues to start nearly 40 percent of the Royals' games, playing in place of the slumping-but-still-better John Buck.

How you get someone to believe LaRue is worth trading for I have no idea. That's probably why my fantasy baseball team is still so rotten.

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