The Kansas City Royals this week dealt away a couple of minor league players in exchange for some minor league pitching. Leaving the Royals’ organisation are Clint Robinson and Vin Mazzaro and replacing them from the Pittsburgh Pirates system are Luis Santos and Luis Rico.
It’s not any great surprise to see Mazzaro leave the organisation; he never performed the way the Royals had hoped after acquiring him in the David DeJesus deal before the 2011 season. He was no longer a candidate for the starting rotation with the Royals’ recent additions in that area and he could not compete with the young talent in the bullpen. He was very much surplus to requirements and it is good that the Royals got at least something for him.
What is rather more surprising though is that Robinson was part of this deal. Not that he was expected to stay, as a first baseman/designated hitter his path to the big leagues in Kansas City was thoroughly blocked, but he was talented enough that I thought the Royals could get more for him. He was not quite a top prospect, but were it not for Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler in front of him I expect we would have seen him at the major league level for more than four pinch-hit at bats by now. I think in a lot of teams he would be in contention for a starting role at first base and I was hoping that the Royals could get at least a borderline major leaguer for him. That’s no disrespect to Santos and Rico, both of whom are talented, but I feel that perhaps the Royals could have been a bit more aggressive here.
As a slight coincidence, in the Pirates Robinson is going to the only team against whom he has ever played.