The Royals began their off-season moves today. They traded the human batting tee, Darrell May and Ryan Bukvich to acquire Terrence Long and Dennis Tankersly.
This is one of those situations where Royals fans would say "They traded May? Great! Who'd they get?" May pitched well enough to earn Royals Pitcher of the Year honors last season, but along with the rest of the team, struggled in 2004.
May didn't endear himself to the fans when he pointed fingers to his teammates when asked about his struggles. May finished the season 9-19 with a 5.61 ERA. The 38 HR's he gave up were a team record. May's struggles and perceived bad attitude left him the primary scapegoat in this season's disaster.
In return, the Royals picked up Terrence Long, a one-time promising outfielder, and Dennis Tankersly, a right handed pitcher who will probably work long relief, but could compete for a starting job.
Long was once a highly regarded player when he was with the A's. His complaints about A's manager Ken Macha led to his trade to San Diego. For the Padres in 2004, he hit .295 with 3 homeruns and 28 RBI's. He's not a patient hitter, striking out 51 times while walking only 19.
Long will probably compete with Abraham Nunez for the right fielder's position, and the Royals will continue to look for a left fielder with power.