Many Royals’ fans considered it an experiment gone wrong and a head scratching move when the team acquired center fielder Rick Ankiel in the offseason. Ankiel’s time in KC is over. Ankiel and relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth were dealt with cash by the Royals to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for three players.
The Royals received outfielder Gregor Blanco and right-handed pitcher Jesse Chavez, who will report to the Royals immediately, and left-handed pitcher Tim Collins, who’ll join Triple-A Omaha.
As far as Jose Guillen, he could still be traded but, because the non-waiver deadline has passed, Guillen will have to clear waivers first, but it’s likely that the Royals will try to move Guillen to clear a lineup spot for Triple-A slugger Kila Ka’aihue. Royals general manager Dayton Moore wants him on the team soon.
“He’s got 24 home runs right now, and the bottom line is he’s met every challenge necessary in Triple-A, and we do need to get him up here as soon as possible,” Moore said.
Ankiel played just 27 games for the Royals, with a .261 average, four homers and 15 RBIs. Farnsworth, was having one of his best seasons, with a 3-0 record and a 2.42 ERA in 37 relief appearances. The Georgia native returns closer to home.
As far as the newcomers, Blanco and Chavez are expected to join the Royals for Sunday’s game against Baltimore. The 26 year old Blanco is hitting .310 (18-for-58) in 36 games for the Braves. He also batted .286 for Triple-A Gwinnett in 44 games. Primarily a center fielder, he has 16 stolen bases in 23 attempts in parts of three seasons with the Braves. Chavez is 24 and was 3-2 with a 5.89 ERA in 28 relief appearances for the Braves this year. In three seasons with Atlanta and Pittsburgh, he’s 4-7 with a 4.92 ERA in 116 games, all in relief.
The 20 year old Collins, was 1-0 record and a 2.29 ERA for two Double-A clubs, New Hampshire in the Toronto organization and Mississippi in the Atlanta organization.