July 20, 2011
Transaction Analysis Blog
The Betemit Trade: The KC Side
There is a wonderful band from the Bay Area called Negativland. “Band” is probably not the right term here; they are more audio collage artists. Their most famous song (in our little underground world of indie strangeness) is called "U2," and consists of the melody from “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” fronted by CB radio clips and profanity-ridden outtakes of Casey Kasem getting upset during a recording session of American Top 40. You can here the song here (warning: profanity occurs). One of the clips used has a frustrated Kasem exclaiming about U2 (while getting their land of origin wrong), “These guys are from England and who gives a s**t!” It's one of my favorite quotes in the history of recorded audio, and I adjust it to my needs often. For example, when hearing who the Royals had acquired from Detroit in return for Wilson Betemit, I immediately exclaimed to nobody, in my worst Kasem impression, “These guys are from the Dominican Republic and who gives a s**t!”
The Royals are doing the right thing by dumping players that are not going to be a part of future winning versions of the team, but the lesson here is not to expect much in return. Julio Rodriguez is nothing more than an organizational catcher with the ability to make contact while offering no power, no approach, and sub-standard receiving skills, although his arm is plus. He's the kind of player who might still be in the minors ten years from now, bouncing from organization to organization simply because he can play the position.
Antonio Cruz is the more interesting player, but only in comparison to Rodriguez. A short and skinny 19-year-old, Cruz offers above-average velocity from the left side and can flash a tight curveball at times, but he doesn't have a truly dependable out pitch to profile as anything beyond a seventh-inning reliever or left-handed specialist, as Midwest League lefties are hitting just .200/.280/.295 against him.
Nothing to see here, move along. It's just Wilson Betemit we're talking about.