Originally written on Fantasy Baseball Tools  |  Last updated 11/13/14

Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore did what most fantasy baseball owners should do as well when it comes to trading, dealing from an area of strength in trading outfielder Melky Cabrera who had a career year in 2011 for starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez of the San Francisco Giants.

Sanchez gives the Royals a quality starter that, while he still struggles with his control, strikes out more than a batter an inning. The Royals only had two starting pitchers throw more than 160 innings last year so they were in desperate need to find rotation help. Sanchez turns 29 later this month and should be a solid addition to the Royals rotation, though he takes a hit in fantasy baseball with the move to the American League.

The bigger winner out of this deal from a fantasy perspective is outfielder Lorenzo Cain who will take over for Cabrera in center field. Cain hit .312 in Triple-A with 16 home runs, 81 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 128 games this season. He was one of the key peices in the Zack Greinke trade last offseason and now gets a chance take over for Cabrera. Cain hit over .300 in four of six seasons in the minor leagues, excluding his injury plagued 2009 season.

For the Giants, they get the leadoff hitter they were looking for and Cabrera is likely just a one year player since he will be a free agent after next season. The Royals were aggressive on the base paths last season so I expect Cabrera’s steal numbers to take a small dip in 2012.

It also means a return to the rotation for Barry Zito who still has two more years to go on his contract. Zito moves back into the rotation in the 5th starter role.

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