Cost-benefit analysis is important to any business investment. As is the exit strategy when drawbacks begin to outweigh upside. According to an explosive report, that exactly where the Royals find themselves with pitcher Yordano Ventura.
Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes that Kansas City had already begun exploring trades for Ventura before he plunked Manny Machado last night, starting an all-out brawl with the Orioles. And the team had come to the decision largely based on attitude:
There is a reason why his catcher didn’t sprint to stop the lurching Machado, why his manager admitted after the game that the Royals have grown weary of him, why, according to executives from two teams, the Royals within the past month have offered Ventura up in trade talks: For an act this tired, the performance must validate it, and the chasm between Ventura’s performance and potential is grand.
That Ventura hasn't lived up to his potiential is plain to see. Sure, he can throw 100 mph heaters, and there's substantial value in that. But his actual production has been poor. Ventura holds a 4-4 win-loss record with a 5.29 ERA this season and leads the American League with 35 walks in 66 inngs pitched. He also has three years and $21 million remaining on his contract.
Immediately after the game last night, Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez said Ventura needed help, or could find himself out of the league entirely despite immense talent. Little did Jimenez know that Kansas City had already started looking to unload him.
If the trade talk is this story's entree, there are several interesting sides peppered in.
First, Passan relays a locker room anecdote of Ventura boasting that he plans to bean Jose Bautista the next chance he gets. Whether Ventura meant it in seriousness or not, these are the kind of antics that wear on the nerves of his Royals teammates.
The story also implies that Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez "didn't really bother" to stop Machado from punching Ventura.
Assuming the balance of the clubhouse had soured on Ventura before last night's brawl, the situation is even worse today.