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Royals Sign Juan Cruz

Everyone loses!

Cruz will receive $2.25 million for 2009, $3.25 million for 2010, and a $4 million team option for 2011 in the deal, with a $500,000 buyout.

The right-handed Cruz could represent a major upgrade for the Royals' bullpen amid high hopes within the organization that Kansas City will take a long stride forward this year. The Royals traded middle relievers Leo Nunez and Ramon Ramirez after last season.

With the deal complete, the Diamondbacks get two 2009 compensatory draft picks -- a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds and the Royals' second-round pick at around No. 55 overall.

Cruz doesn't get much money (in baseball terms, anyway) and effectively guarantees he won't get a shot at much more until at least 2012. The Diamondbacks don't get the first-round pick they would have gotten if a better team had signed Cruz, although at least they get two picks, a sandwich-rounder and the Royals' second-rounder. (The first-round pick was the reason Cruz stayed on the market so long.) And the Royals... at least they get a very good setup man, but what the Royals think they're doing giving up their second-round pick, I have no idea. I'd be apoplectic if the Pirates pulled a stunt like this. The Royals at least have the excuse of being in a wide-open division, but I strongly doubt they have any chance of winning it, which makes their decision to sign Cruz pretty strange. It's possible they trade him eventually, but I wouldn't bet they'll get more value back than the second-round pick would have had.