Now that we've had a moment to let the first significant trade of the hot stove season soak in a little, let's take a look at reactions around the baseball world. My initial reaction was that the Royals made a smart move by trading an extra piece at his peak value in exchange for a much-needed pitcher at his lowest -- all while clearing the way for the vaunted Lorenzo Cain (most recently mentioned in Jair Jurrjens trade rumors).
I also kept repeating that I thought the timing was good, but I mean in terms of player cycles, not in terms of "best time during the off-season," for which Dayton Moore is well known for gun jumping and market setting (and he did yet again).
Here's what others are thinking:
Melky for Jonathan: Knee-Jerk Analysis - McCovey Chronicles
"My problem with the trade isn't giving up Sanchez or Verdugo. It's not necessarily Melky. He's a flawed player, but people act like a court order is going to force him to return his increased production from last year. It's not so outlandish to think that a 26-year-old who improves might turn into a 27-year-old who maintains the production. My problem with the trade is the completely manufactured need in center field."
Breaking: Kansas City Royals Trade Melky Cabrera to San Francisco, Get Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo - Royals Review
"This deal certainly takes the shape of many of the rumors and proposed swaps proffered by fans this autumn as a seemingly redundant position player was sent out for a pitcher. Sanchez is roughly an average to slightly above average pitcher. He's certainly a rotation upgrade. (2010 - 4.00 FIP, 3.94 xFIP, 2011 - 4.30 FIP, 4.36 xFIP) However, because of his contract status and middling nature, he isn't a difference maker in 2012 or a long term solution in the rotation."
Sanchez a worthwhile risk for Royals - ESPN Insider (Bowden)
"This was pure a baseball trade; a deal that helped both ball clubs financially and plugged some gaping holes by taking moderate risks on two players who still have some upside. Both players are arbitration-eligible and can be free agents after the 2012 season. Sanchez struggled with an ankle injury most of the year, posting a mediocre 4-7 record with a 4.26 ERA. Royals GM Dayton Moore said the deal is a wash financially for both teams."
Early developments in the SP market - The Providence Journal
"In essence, the Royals and Giants both traded from positions of strength to help fill a weakness. The deal likely means the price for San Francisco's more prized starters -- Matt Cain among them -- is probably higher today than it was yesterday. Furthermore, Kansas City is probably less inclined to be in on other starting pitchers."
First impression: Giants did well in Jonathan Sanchez deal | San Francisco Giants: San Francisco Chronicle
"In fact, the Giants might have fulfilled Beltran’s demand that they find a leadoff hitter. Cabrera is not a true leadoff hitter. He rarely walks. But he can steal bases and he’s the best they have right now."
Hot Stove: Giants trade for Melky Cabrera - WEEI
"Verdugo, a 24-year-old rising prospect, experienced mixed results in his first season as a minor league starter. Verdugo was 8-6 with a 4.35 ERA in 25 starts with Double-A Richmond. He was a ninth-round draft pick out of Louisiana State University in 2008."
Royals send OF Cabrera to Giants for LHP Sanchez - Yahoo! Sports
"With a young lineup and plenty of talent still in the minor league system, Royals general manager Dayton Moore was willing to part with Cabrera to fill his biggest need: starting pitching."
Giants trade Jonathan Sanchez and Minor Leaguer to Royals for Melky Cabrera - MLB.com
"The 24-year-old Verdugo was 8-6 with a 4.35 ERA in 25 starts for Double-A Richmond in 2011, his first season as a starter in the Minor Leagues. The six-foot, 193-pounder is 21-7 with a 3.14 ERA in 101 career Minor League appearances. He has allowed 185 hits and struck out 300 in his 234 1/3 career innings. The Giants' ninth-round Draft pick in 2008 out of Louisiana State, he will be assigned to the roster of Triple-A Omaha."
Royals trade for a starter — good idea for the Red Sox? - Boston.com
"Whether it's Youkilis, Jed Lowrie, Josh Reddick or one of their prominent prospects, the Red Sox may need to find a starter via trade because the free agent market is so thin. The Royals made the first move and in many ways, it could be a blueprint."
Melky Cabrera shipped to San Francisco for LHPs Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo - Kings of Kauffman
"I think we all know what we had in Melky. He was a one-year deal that seemed to be nothing more than a flyer to spin off at the trade deadline for whatever Dayton Moore could find. Instead, he had a career year and jacked his trade value up to a ridiculously high level. Rather than turning him at the deadline, the Royals waited until their favorite time of year – a week after the season completely ended – to ship him off. And Moore completed a trade that seemingly can’t do anything but help the Royals in 2012 and beyond."