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LaRue traded to the Royals

According to Baseball Digest Daily's newsletter (not yet online), Jason LaRue (and, I would guess, some portion of his $5.2 million salary for 2007) are headed to Kansas City for a minor leaguer to be named.  The Royals had been in the market for a catcher, and this means they won't have to sign Gregg Zaun to the three-year deal he's after.

LaRue had a disastrous off-year in 2006, hitting below .200 in limited duty.  (Hit below .200 with a couple of good catchers on the roster, and you will always find yourself in limited duty!  Unless you're Brad Ausmus.)  However, he's only one year removed from a 4.7 win season--if the Royals can get anything close to that out of him, he's worth the full five million bucks.  However, he's a catcher going into his age-33 season; ZiPS projects him to "bounce back" to .234/.331/.411.  That wouldn't earn him a fan club in KC, but it would be good enough, especially if he continued to be above average on defense, which he has been over his career..

Looks like this could be a great trade for both sides: the Reds save some cash on a player they don't need, and the Royals get a catcher with some upside without tying themselves into a long-term contract.

UPDATE: Here's a link for now.

By Jeff Sackmann

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Comments

You wonder where a Catcher who hits .194 could go and still be appreciated? Krivsky found it.

How is LaRue at handling a pitching staff? Buck is an okay defensive catcher, but he has obviously had some trouble calling games....would LaRue be an upgrade in this department?

Contract the royals!

Last year LaRue was the Reds best defensive catcher. He is ok at calling games and ok at trapping balls but this guy has a cannon. This guy throws people out like it is his job. Well it is his job....lol.

Good trade on both sides. The Reds didn't need him anymore and finally go rid of him. I wish the reds wouldn't have even resign him the year before.

What do you think the Royals would want for Greinke? I still see huge potential there, and I think he could be had by a number of teams. God knows he needs to get out of KC.

That's a good point, NickJS21. I wonder if they would trade him, and what it would take. A change of scenery would probably do him a lot of good.

According to reports, the Royals are only on the hook for $2.5 mill of LaRue's salary in 07.

That changes this move from a good deal to a great deal for the Royals.

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