|| Fan favorite Sent Packing?
By: Jose Schmoe
Kansas City, MO--- In a deeply frustrating and shocking day, the Royals traded star first baseman Mike Sweeney and journeyman outfielder Emil Brown to the Los Angeles Dodgers for shortstop Cesar Izturis, young catcher Dioner Navarro, single-A pitcher Justin Orenduff, and the Dodgers first round pick in the upcoming June draft, which is projected at #7 overall.
How will the loss of Mike Sweeney's bat in Kansas City effect the Royals?
Mike Sweeney, one of the fab four of the 1999-2000 lineup, and the only one left in Kansas City to date, was largely the most popular player on the Royals, however, as their GM stated, "he just didn't fit into our plans." The Royals, under the new leadership of Matt Dammon Jr., have decided to go in the decision of building around prospects and picks and getting players like Navarro, Orenduff, and a first round pick certainly help towards that goal. The Royals said they originally targeted Cesar Izturis as a player they wanted to acquire, but after they noticed that the Dodgers were willing to give up their first round pick and catcher Dioner Navarro, they knew they needed to swing a deal and they did. The aquistion of Cesar Izturis likely means Angel Berroa will either need to switch positions, or will be traded for help elsewhere.
Can Cesar Izturis, the best defensive middle infielder for the Royals since hall of famer Frank White, become a fan favorite for his glove?
The Royals really liked Izturis for his superior defense, and his decent speed. They feel like Navarro will be a great part of their organization for years to come, as he is an upgrade both offensively and defensively over Buck, and a better defense is the best and quickest way to turnaround a poor pitching staff. Justin Orenduff is also another young arm to add to their minor league system, which has zero good pitching prospects to speak of. Look for trades and the draft to change this around though, as the Royals believe that their offensive potential with DeJesus, Gordon, Butler, and Teahen, along with the additions of Navarro and Izturis, can be ery productive, but the pitching staff lacks star power to speak of. Zack Greinke is their best young pitcher, but even he might lack the stuff to succeed at the major league level. Their bullpen beyond the dynamite duo of Ambiorix Burgos and Andy Sisco lacks anything near average pitchers, as their best reliever, Elmer Dessens is expected to be traded as soon as the Royals can get a decent offer for him.
With the additions, so far, of Joel Pineiro, Dioner Navarro, the first round pick, Justin Orenduff, and Cesar Izturis, the Royals have already began the long road back to average, and any expectations for next year, the Royals believe, should include the playoffs, and they are determined to get it there.
Top prospects and where they will start the year:
SP Zack Greinke
SP Denny Bautista
C Dioner Navarro
1B Justin Huber
3B Mark Teahen
3B Alex Gordon
LF Billy Butler
CF Mitch Maier
SP Justin Orenduff
SP Luis Cota
SS Jeffery Bianchi
SS Chris McConnell