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Royals Sign Reliever Juan Cruz

So much for all the sign and trade talk. According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and's Dick Kaegel -- and commented about on an earlier post by jca below -- the Royals signed reliever Juan Cruz to a two-year, $6 million deal earlier today, forfeitting their second-round draft pick as compensation for landing Cruz, an arbitration designee who rejected the offer for Arizona.

The deal reportedly contains a third-year option, which would be worth $3.5 million if exercised. To make room on their 40-man roster for Cruz's arrival, the Royals designated infielder Esteban German for assignment, a slightly surprising move but one that may underscore how the Royals have actually taken another step forward with their roster in the offseason.

Kansas City's deal with Cruz is most interesting, however, because it s hows that the team values its own prospects more than a second-round pick in the upcoming draft. To many, that may seem surprising, but it's an approach that shows how much faith General Manager Dayton Moore has in his scouting staff.

Speaking of Moore, here's what he had to say about his newest reliever:

"He's a power pitcher, he's a great competitor," said Royals general manager Dayton Moore. "I think only Brad Lidge had more swings-and-misses last year. He was very effective against left-handers and very effective against right-handers and is someone who gives us a lot of power and aggressiveness. He's been very successful the last two years."

What do people think? Good deal for Kansas City or too much sacrifice -- and too long a commitment -- for a high-strikeout guy who could be prone to future arm trouble because of his intensity, speed and pitching motion?

By Cameron Smith  |  February 28, 2009; 6:29 PM ET
Categories:  Royals  
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I wouldn't be worried about durability over the 2 year deal. The two things I'd be concerned about are 1) his walk rate of about 4.5/9 IP and 2) his 1 year in the AL. The one year he spent with the A's he was awful with a capital A. I don't know if he was injured or what, but he stunk up the joint. Other than that year, however, he's been a good to great reliever and a bad starter.

With Cruz and Soria closing games out, if the Royals can bring a lead to the 8th they're set. And here's hoping the Farns returns to his dominant self. That guy's a nut and fun to watch. Remember this?

I don't think they're at the point where they can win the Central. They've got a ways to go to pass up the Twins, White Sox and Tigers, but hey, at least they're trying. They've got a pretty solid (if unspectacular) pitching staff, now they just need some bigger bats.

Posted by: adampschroeder | March 1, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

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