Dayton deals on deadline day

Royals GM Dayton Moore pulled the trigger on two more trades on Monday, just hours before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline expired. The Royals shipped Matt Stairs to the Rangers in exchange for pitcher Joselo Diaz, and later they packaged Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista in a swap with the Rockies for 1B Ryan Shealy and pitcher Scott Dohmann. Inside, RC breaks down the moves.

Matt Stairs for Joselo Diaz:

The Royals acquired Stairs prior to the 2004 season, and he's been a quality player both on the field and in the clubhouse. He was originally signed to be a left-handed bat off the bench, but injuries – particularly to Mike Sweeney – forced him into a more prominent role on the club. Over the past three years, Stairs logged time in nearly 80 percent of the Royals' games, hitting 39 home runs and driving in 164 runs during his tenure with the club. On a competitive team, a veteran like Stairs can be an asset to the roster in a limited role, but the Royals had little remaining use for him as they continue to assess the younger players on their roster.

Keeping with the recent theme of acquiring as many arms as possible, the Royals traded Stairs to the Texas Rangers in exchange for RHP Joselo Diaz. Diaz, 26, is a 6-0, 240 lbs. righty out of the Dominican Republic. In 36 games this season between Frisco (AA) and Oklahoma (AAA), Diaz had a 2-0 record and an ERA of 2.40. He's thrown 63.2 innings, striking out 75 batters while allowing 44 hits and 44 walks. Opposing batters have hit just .201/.341/.279 off of him this season, and he's been particularly devastating against lefties, who hit .170/.288/.214. As for his repertoire, information is a little sketchy, but we understand he can run fastballs into the high-90s, and that Royals scout Luis Medina was particularly impressed with him after watching him pitch for Oklahoma earlier this season. Diaz will report to Omaha, but don't be surprised if he sees time in KC relatively soon.


Diaz will report to Omaha

RC is pleased with this trade. Diaz certainly isn't young for a prospect, but it would be hard to expect much more in return for Stairs, who was never going to command a large bounty. We're mildly concerned about Diaz's high walk rate, but we love the .201 BAA and the fact that he's surrendered just two home runs in over 60 innings pitched in two of the best hitters' leagues around. All in all, Diaz was a solid pick-up that is perfectly consistent with Dayton Moore's philosophy for the organization, and it only took a 38-year-old DH to get him. It was always fun to watch Stairs hit, and we'll miss having him on the team, but it was time to move him.

Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista for Ryan Shealy and Scott Dohmann:

Both Affeldt and Bautista were tremendously talented pitchers who never quite lived up to their abilities while in a Royals uniform. It seemed almost certain that Affeldt would be dealt prior to the deadline, but Bautista's departure comes as something of a surprise – not that we're terribly disappointed. When everything was clicking, Bautista had some of the nastiest stuff of any Royals pitcher in the last decade. Problem was, it wasn't clicking very often, and the Royals were never quite able to solve Bautista's consistently inconsistent difficulties with repeating his delivery and commanding his pitches.

Scott Dohmann was drafted by the Rockies in the sixth round of the 2000 draft, and he spent six years in the organization. His minor league numbers as he rose through the system were never great, but he did put up solid strikeout numbers, punching out nearly a batter an inning. The Rockies converted him to a reliever during the 2003 season, allowing him to essentially focus on throwing his two best pitches – his fastball and slider. His slider is reportedly above average, and although he does have a change-up, he doesn't throw it often.


Dohmann joined Kansas City on Monday night

Dohmann made his ML debut in 2004 for the Rockies, and he's spent parts of the last three seasons between Triple-A and the majors. In 101.2 career innings pitched in the Major Leagues, Dohmann has allowed 100 hits and 53 walks while striking out 106 and compiling an ERA of 5.22. You might expect that the high altitude of Coors Field inflated his ERA, but his road ERA is actually slightly higher than his home ERA. Of course, his peripherals, such as opponents' batting average and K/9 innings, were better on the road, so it's difficult to tell exactly what you can take away from his home/road splits. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the American League, but we like his strikeout numbers. He could do very well in KC, or he could flame out, but of course, he wasn't the key piece to this deal.

Ryan Shealy was. The 6-5, 250 lbs. first baseman has terrorized minor league pitchers for a long time, but he was blocked in the Rockies' system by Todd Helton, one of the best offensive first basemen of all time. Shealy was an All-American at Florida after hitting .379/.454/.713 with 23 HR his senior season, and he was selected by the Rockies in the 11th round of the 2002 draft. He signed quickly and went to the Pioneer League, where he won the league MVP award after hitting .368/.497/.714 with 19 HR, falling just a few BA points shy of claiming the Triple Crown.

Shealy began the following season on the DL after having arthroscopic knee surgery, but he still put up a very respectable numbers upon his return. In 2004, Shealy put up another monster year, winning the Texas League MVP award after hitting .318/.411/.584 with a league-leading 29 HR. He finally got his first crack at the Majors last year, where he hit .330/.413/.473 in 36 games with the Rockies, mostly as an injury replacement for Helton. He spent the rest of his time last season in Triple-A, where in 108 games he hit .328/.393/.601 with 26 HR in the Pacific Coast League.

Even though his bat was clearly ready for full-time duty in the Majors, Shealy was once again relegated to Triple-A this season, and he's continued to put up solid numbers -- .284/.351/.568 with 15 HR. He should immediately become the Royals' starting first baseman, and he figures to give Kansas City the type of power bat that we haven't seen in a long time.

The most interesting aspect of this trade, of course, is trying to figure out exactly where all of the young position players now fit. We had figured that Mark Teahen was the best candidate to move to first base once Alex Gordon arrives, but now that Shealy figures to have a hammerlock on the position, our earlier projection has been thrown into flux. Of course, this is a very good problem to have, and the Royals now seem to have a surplus of young quality bats on the horizon. A future lineup that includes Teahen, Gordon, Shealy, Billy Butler, and others promises to deliver ample amounts of thunder to Kauffman Stadium in the coming years, and the great thing about all of these trades is that they might actually have a pitching staff to go with it.

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