POSITIVE STEP BY K.C.
The Royals may
end up supplanting the 1962 Mets as the losingest team in the modern era, but
they scored a significant victory last week by hiring Braves assistant general
manager Dayton Moore as their G.M. Moore, 39, had rebuffed an overture from the
Red Sox last winter, knowing that it was only a matter of time before departed
G.M. Theo Epstein would return. Moore was also thought to be the heir apparent
to John Schuerholz in Atlanta and would have been considered for the Nationals'
G.M. job by new team president Stan Kasten, who ran the Braves from 1987
and special assistant Paul Snyder, Moore learned from the best about player
development, an area Kansas City badly needs to upgrade. The club does have
premier prospects in third baseman Alex Gordon (above) and outfielder Billy
Butler, but little else (especially pitching). The major league roster is so
devoid of valuable trading chips that Moore will need most of the five years on
his contract to rebuild the system. He came to the right place in that regard:
Every G.M. in Royals history has lasted at least six seasons, including Moore's
predecessor, Allard Baird, whose teams lost 100 games in three of his last four
No pitcher has
ever done so much with so little velocity as Seattle's Jamie Moyer (right).
With three more starts Moyer, 43, whose fastball tops out at 85 mph, will
become the 44th pitcher in history (and only the 12th lefty) to make 500
starts. Among those 44, he will have the fewest complete games (29; Tom Glavine
is next at 55), fewest shutouts (nine; Bobby Mathews is next with 20) and
fewest wins (208; Rick Reuschel is next at 214).
?On May 31 the
Rangers gleefully threw in $4.5 million to have the Cubs take DH-cornerman Phil
Nevin (left) in a trade for infielder Jerry Hairston. Nevin hit .204 in 275 at
bats with Texas and can't play defense. He had one hit (a homer) in his first
six at bats for Chicago.
Papelbon's success as a closer (20 for 20 in save chances through Sunday)
changed Boston's thinking about his long-term future as a starter? No. The Red
Sox still expect Papelbon, 25, to be in their rotation by 2008 and Craig Hansen
(2.37 ERA as a starter at Triple A Pawtucket) to be their closer.
?Sure, the Blue
Jays, only 21/2 games out of first in the AL East at week's end, can hit with
any other team, but the jury is out on their middle-infield defense (shortstop
Aaron Hill, who took over for demoted Russ Adams, and second baseman Edgardo
Alfonzo, signed on May 25 after being released by the Angels). Trade options
include shortstops Julio Lugo of the Devil Rays and the Dodgers' Cesar Izturis,
who is returning from Tommy John surgery.
by Baseball Prospectus