Royals Trade Dessens, Graffanino

Busy day for Dayton Moore, as he acquired all sorts of pitchers for his veterans.

Let’s start with his first trade: Elmer Dessens to the Dodgers for Blake Johnson, Julio Pimentel, Odalis Perez, and cash.  If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of Johnson or Pimentel, so let’s start there.

Pimentel and Johnson were ranked 16th and 17th among Dodgers prospects entering the 2006 season by Baseball America.  Pimentel is a 20 year-old converted outfielder currently struggling in High Class A.  Pimentel’s teammate Blake Johnson is a 21 year-old righty who was drafted in the second round in ’04.  Just a couple of live arms to help the Royals’ system; collect enough and someone’s bound to pan out.

Odalis Perez is an intriguing pickup for a team like the Royals.  He immediately becomes their most talented pitcher despite his awful 2006.  Looking at his peripherals, his strikeout rate dropped this season and his hits allowed skyrocketed.  Perez’s control remains excellent.  The southpaw had mixed results in the World Baseball Classic this March.  He claimed to be in the best shape of his life in February following an ’05 season marred by an oblique strain, shoulder inflammation, and biceps tendinitis.

Financials: Perez is due around $2.75MM for the rest of this season, $7.75MM next season, and a $1.5MM buyout for ’08 if the Royals don’t want him for $9MM.  Of that $12MM, the Dodgers are paying $8MM.  That leaves KC with just a $4MM obligation to Perez for the rest of this year and his age 29 season.  He’s projected to be worth that much in ’07 alone, and the Royals don’t have much to lose. 

As for Dessens, he’s your run-of-the-mill 34 year-old reliever.  He’ll earn roughly $640,000 for the rest of ’06 and $1.7MM next year.

The Royals also shipped Tony Graffanino to the Brewers for Jorge De La Rosa.  De La Rosa, a 25 year-old southpaw, has fared poorly in the Majors with a 5.12 ERA in 65 innings.  He was traded to the Diamondbacks in the Curt Schilling deal in ’03 and then bounced to the Brewers in the Richie Sexson trade a few days later.  De La Rosa has dealt with elbow and control issues (they go hand in hand), but he’s still got a bit of promise.

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