Wednesday, December 19, 2007

GMDM continues run of great transactions with signing of Ron Mahay

A week and a half after denying the Braves' arbitration offer, lefty reliever Ron Mahay has signed a two-year contract with the Royals worth $8 million, according to sources. This is a great deal. Before we get to the stats, read what Rangers Fan has to say about the former Rangers reliever who went to Atlanta last July as part of the Jarrod Saltalamacchia/Mark Teixeira deal:

"Mahay was a lock-down guy. He just always seemed in control. He could come in and get one out or pitch three innings. I always really liked Mahay."

And if that's not convincing, try this:

In a combined 58 games last season with the Rangers and Braves, Mahay was 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA. Mostly a late-inning situational reliever, he had 37 walks and 55 strikeouts in 67 innings. Atlanta offered him arbitration last month.

If there's one concern about Mahay -- who was a position player early in his baseball life before converting to a pitcher -- it's that he has a tendency to get complacent after signing a big contract. "Tendency to" is a bit unfair, but it happened once. After the Rangers gave him a contract in 2005, he pitched terribly, got designated for assignment and afterwards admitted he took it easy the previous offseason. I'll take my chances though that he's learned his lesson. He's an effective and not-past-his-prime lefty (36 years old) who can replace Zack Greinke/David Riske as the primary setup man. His signing also makes Jimmy Gobble expendable, and right now the hope is Dayton Moore can leverage the young LOOGY into a mid-tier prospect, like he did when he traded Billy Buckner to the Diamondbacks for second baseman Alberto Callaspo.

INTERLUDE: We'll make this quick, because this trade happened last Friday and people have already posted about this, from Royals Authority to The Royal Tower to Royals Review to Royal Reflections (but not A Royals Fan in Atlanta... hmm): the D-backs have a logjam at the second base position, and they just sent six prospects -- including three pitchers -- to Oakland for Dan Haren, so they felt Callaspo was expendable if the appropriate young pitcher was offered. The winner in this trade? The Royals, hands down. Read the Royals Authority post on Callaspo, how he shows great plate discipline and tore up the Pacific Coast League. Also, we watched Buckner last year, and we weren't impressed. He showed little potential -- for us or Dayton -- and the fact that he was at one time the No. 2 pitching prospect in the Royals organization is more a comment on the dilapidated state of Allard Baird's farm system than anything else.

The best part about Mahay's signing was that Dayton took him away from the Giants and Yankees. Get ready for more of the same, fellas. GMDM knows what he wants and will get what he wants, and you will fall forever with not even the chance to convert.

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