"Once the major free agents sign, the Royals expect left fielder David DeJesus and possibly right-hander Gil Meche to draw significant trade interest.So the only way the Royals are going to move Meche is if it accomplished one (or hopefully both) of these two goals:
Both players are under club control for two more years. DeJesus will earn $4.7 million next season, and his contract includes a $6 million club option for 2011. Meche is owed $24 million over that period.
For the Royals, the idea of trading either or both players would be to reduce payroll and increase their inventory of young talent."
- reduce payroll
- increase inventory of young talent
1. What team in their right mind would take on all of Gil Meche's contract?
Under most circumstances...none
2. Is Gil Meche's value right now anywhere close to $12 million annually?
3. Is there a market out there for Gil Meche right now?
Teams aren't exactly knocking down the Royals' doors to inquire about Gil Meche...
4. Can the Royals expect to get any top talent back in return for Meche?
Probably not. Meche is coming off an injury plagued season and is owed a ton of money, which makes it doubtful that teams will give up anything of value for him unless the Royals pick up lots of Meche's contract.
5. If the Royals trade Meche straight up for prospects, they almost certainly would have to pick up a portion of his contract, which they should be hesitant to do if they want to save money.
How can the Royals avoid paying any of Meche's salary and get some prospects back at the same time? Simple! Trade Meche for a bad contract! But remember, the Royals can't just look for any bad contract because the Royals goal is to save money.
What the Royals should in turn look to do is look to acquire players on the decline, who are owed lots of money for just one season. This way the Royals would save a chunk of money over time, not have to pick up a lick of Meche's salary, and hopefully get a few prospects back in return as well. Here are some good options for the Royals:
- Jeff Suppan
- Nate Robertson
- Eric Byrnes
As for the Royals, sure they would suffer in the short term, but does anyone actually expect the Royals to be good in 2010? Nope. In addition, the Royals are not expected to be active in the free agent market this winter, so the payroll flexibility would be more valuable to them next winter when they might actually try to spend some of it. The focus has to be on the future and this type of deal would be benefiting the Royals in the long term.