It's a minor trade, but it's the only one we have so far this offseason.
Most of the intelligent reviews of this trade have been negative for the Royals. However, I'm a fan of Kansas City's side. There are two relevant reasons for my stance:
- For Mike Jacobs, a large platoon split is a good thing, not a bad thing.
- Leo Nunez sucks.
Taking these in order...if your first baseman is a fair hitter overall, would you rather he be a fair hitter against everyone, or a good hitter against some pitchers and a terrible hitter against others? Platoon hitters have value for a reason; find Jacobs a right-handed partner (say, Billy Butler) and you're getting decent production from your DH spot at a low cost.
However you slice it, you cannot say that Jacobs is less valuable than a hitter with similar stats and no platoon split. He's still a below-average regular with an iron glove, but if you use him strictly as a DH against RHP, you're in fairly good shape.
On to Nunez: We're talking about a reliever with a career 4.92 ERA who doesn't get strikeouts or ground balls. This is exactly the kind of asset you trick someone into taking off your hands when he puts up a fluke good season. The Royals aren't getting a great return, but they couldn't have expected much better.