Kansas City Royals Rumors

Kansas City Royals trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

AL Notes: Giavotella, Zito, Madson

Now with the Angels, infielder Johnny Giavotella is hoping for another chance in the Majors, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes. Giavotella collected 465 plate appearances in parts of four seasons with the Royals, but never quite caught on, hitting .238/.277/.334 in the process before joining the Angels in a minor trade this winter. “In my opinion, Triple-A to the big leagues is the biggest jump, and there is an adjustment period to be had,” Giavotella says. “I never feel like I got that adjustment period to fail and make that adjustment.” Giavotella, who is out of options, is competing with Josh Rutledge, Grant Green and Taylor Featherston for the Angels’ second base job, which opened when the team traded Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers. Here’s more from the American League.

  • Barry Zito now looks like a legitimate long relief option for the Athletics, Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com writes. “You take a year off … It’s pretty impressive what he’s doing,” says A’s manager Bob Melvin. After a year away from the game following an ugly 2013 season with the Giants, Zito signed a minor-league deal with the Athletics hoping to reestablish himself. He’s still hopeful he can make the team as a starter, although Stiglich suggests the bullpen is more likely.
  • Another minor-league signee, Ryan Madson, has impressed the Royals in camp, writes Doug Miller of MLB.com. “To come in, you look at it as a flyer, and then you watch and he’s got his fastball back up to 91, 92, he’s always had that devastating change. He’s a pretty interesting guy,” says manager Ned Yost. Miller notes that Madson, who hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2011, likely won’t make the Royals out of camp, but he could be a name to watch after he’s spent some time at Triple-A Omaha.

AL Notes: Starling, Capuano, Rollins

The career of 2011 No. 5 overall pick Bubba Starling hasn’t gone according to plan, but the Royals remain patient with the now-22-year-old, Alan Eskew writes for Baseball America (subscription required). “He’s got the type of body and athleticism that will be able to play for a long, long time,” says assistant GM J.J. Picollo. “So whether he gets to the big leagues at 24, 25, 26—that’s not really a factor because he’s going to be able to play for a long time.” Starling hit .218/.304/.338 while striking out 150 times in 549 plate appearances for Class A+ Wilmington in 2014. Here are more notes from the American League.

  • Once Chris Capuano recovers from a quad strain, he’ll be a serviceable pitcher who provides the Yankees with flexibility, Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues writes. Capuano will miss the start of the season and might not have a rotation spot waiting for him when he returns, but he can also pitch out of the bullpen, as he did last season for the Red Sox and once did on occasion for the Brewers. Axisa suggests Capuano might work well in a swingman role. As a pitcher who can work in a variety of roles without worries, he could provide reasonable value on his $5MM contract.
  • Among the players the Mariners sent to minor-league camp today were lefties Lucas Luetge and Rafael Perez. That leaves David Rollins, a Rule 5 pick from the Astros, in competition with Joe Saunders and Tyler Olson to join Charlie Furbush as the Mariners’ second lefty out of the bullpen, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets. Rollins has pitched well so far in Spring Training, striking out seven batters and walking none in his first 6 1/3 innings.

No Extension Talks Between Royals, Alex Gordon

Though Alex Gordon is entering his last guaranteed year under contract with the Royals, the outfielder tells Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star that “not one bit” of talks have taken place about an extension.  “I love it here.  This is where I want to play,” Gordon said.  “But you have to realize the situation. Maybe it won’t happen, maybe it will.”

Gordon has a $13.25MM player option for 2016 that he was originally intending to exercise as of last summer, though he said last month that he wasn’t sure if he would pick his option up.  If Gordon has a good 2015 season, declining the option would put him in line for an expensive multi-year contract on the free agent market.

Mellinger’s piece outlines the pros and cons of extending Gordon from the Royals’ perspective.  On the pro side, Gordon has been a productive player, they have no ready-made replacement for his bat or outstanding left field glove, and the popular Gordon has been a “face of the franchise” for the last decade.  On the con side, a Gordon extension would surely be the most expensive contract in Royals history and they may not want to spend that much on a player who will be entering his age-32 season in 2016.

Gordon did undergo wrist surgery in December and has yet to appear in any Spring Training action, so it could be that the Royals simply want to make sure that he’s recovered before discussing a new deal.  Still, I agree with Mellinger that it’s rather surprising that Kansas City hasn’t at least broached the subject of an extension with Gordon or his representatives at Excel Sports Management.  Most players don’t want to negotiate new contracts once the season begins, so even if no agreement is reached now, K.C. could at least lay some groundwork for further talks after the season.



Royals, Rafael Furcal Agree To Minor League Deal

WEDNESDAY: Furcal will receive $1.25MM if he’s in the Majors, plus $250K in incentives, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets.

MONDAY: The Royals and infielder Rafael Furcal have agreed to a minor league contract, per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). Furcal, a client of the Kinzer Management Group, isn’t with the team in big league camp and is instead rehabbing in minor league camp, McCullough adds.

The 37-year-old Furcal signed a one-year deal with the Marlins last offseason with the expectation that he could play second base for them, but hamstring injuries cost him all but nine games of the 2014 season. Furcal, who missed the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery hit just .171/.216/.229 in 37 PAs with the Fish last season. His last regular action came with the Cardinals in 2012 when he batted .264/.325/.346 with five homers and a dozen steals.

Furcal re-tore his problematic hamstring this offseason and missed the playoffs in the Dominican Winter League, so he’ll need to rehab from that injury before receiving a chance to crack Kansas City’s roster. The signing makes some degree of sense, however, as Omar Infante is battling elbow issues and struggled in 2014 anyhow. Indeed, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes noted back in December (via Twitter) that Furcal could be a fit for Kansas City, especially since he came up through the Braves organization back when Royals GM Dayton Moore was working in Atlanta’s scouting and player development departments.


Out Of Options Players: AL Central

The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options.  That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so.  I’ve included players on multiyear deals.  This list was compiled through MLBTR’s sources.  Today, we’ll take a look at the AL Central.

White Sox: Maikel Cleto, Conor Gillaspie, Javy Guerra, Dan Jennings, Hector Noesi

The White Sox claimed Cleto off waivers from the Royals in February 2014, removing him from their 40-man roster in May and re-adding him in August.  He and Guerra are among those vying for a couple of spots in the team’s revamped bullpen, which features new additions David Robertson, Zach Duke, and Jennings.  Opening the season with an eight-man pen is possible.  In a Saturday post, Jim Margalus of South Side Sox ranked Cleto ahead of Guerra.

Indians: Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Nick Hagadone, Zach McAllister, Brandon Moss

Carrasco and Bauer have rotation spots locked down for the Indians.  McAllister is competing with a pool of others for two open spots, with Gavin Floyd‘s injury creating an opening.  About a month ago, Indians manager Terry Francona implied McAllister will make the club, either as a starter or reliever.  Also about a month ago, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian described Hagadone as a “virtual lock” for the Tribe’s pen.

Tigers: Jose Iglesias, Hernan Perez, Andrew Romine

Perez and Romine were thought to be in competition for one bench spot, writes James Schmehl of Mlive.com, but Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said recently the team could break camp with both on the roster.  If healthy, Iglesias will be the everyday shortstop.

Royals: Louis Coleman, Jarrod Dyson, Erik Kratz

Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star broke down the Royals’ bullpen situation yesterday.  Relievers Greg Holland, Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Jason Frasor, and Chris Young are locked into a pen that could break camp with eight.  At present, it seems likely they’ll be able to find a spot for Coleman.

As McCullough noted in an earlier article, Kratz is competing with Francisco Pena for the backup catcher job.  He feels that the 34-year-old Kratz is a better fit for the gig than Pena, who is 25.  Dyson will be the team’s fourth outfielder.

Twins: Eduardo Escobar, Eduardo Nunez, Trevor Plouffe, Jordan Schafer

Escobar seems assured a utility infield job on the team, but Nunez’s status is uncertain.  A trade seems possible.  Schafer’s all but certain to be Minnesota’s fourth outfielder.


Pitching Notes: Richard, Masterson, Morrow, Hochevar

Spring Training will always involve unfortunate news of injuries, but it also represents an opportunity for players making a comeback — whether from injury or otherwise — to reestablish themselves. In addition to restoring their own career trajectories (Scott Kazmir, anyone?), such players can deliver immense value to the teams that give them another chance.

Let’s take a look at a few situations from around the league, focusing on pitchers:

  • When lefty Clayton Richard signed a minor league deal with the Pirates, everyone’s first thoughts went to the hurlers whose careers have recently been revived in Pittsburgh. (A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, and Edinson Volquez being the prime examples.) As Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, that is essentially what Richard was thinking about, too. “I was able to talk to [Volquez] a little bit and see what he thought of the organization,” said Richard. “It was positive. Just in talking with [GM] Neal [Huntington], [manager] Clint [Hurdle], and [pitching coach] Ray [Searage], I got a good feel of what they are all about. it made sense for me that this was the place.” The non-roster invitee is said to be hitting the gun in the low-nineties, where he previously has worked, and says he is “loosening up my entire body through my delivery” after having seen his motion limited in the past by shoulder troubles.
  • After good vibes at the opening of Red Sox camp, Justin Masterson had a less-than-promising outing yesterday, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. A scout called Masterson’s work “awful,” while manager John Farrell said the righty “started to flash some better stuff into the fourth inning” but lacked “late action” on his pitches from “inconsistencies and when the velocity drops.” That group of issues — i.e., mechanical struggles and waning fastball velocity — were perhaps the two most-cited underlying difficulties that led Masterson to fall from his early perch near the top of this year’s free agent class to a one-year, $9.5MM deal with Boston. Of course, there is still plenty of time for Masterson to rebound this season.
  • Brandon Morrow of the Padres also signed a make-good, one-year deal but was guaranteed much less than Masterson. But he is off to a strong opening to his year, having posted nine innings with one earned run and seven strikeouts against two free passes thus far. In post-game comments today to his counterpart, Cubs skipper Joe Maddon said that Morrow showed “real stuff” in his four scoreless frames, as MLB.com’s Alyson Footer tweets. It seems at this point that the fifth starter’s role is Morrow’s to lose.
  • Royals reliever Luke Hochevar made his way back to competitive action today, throwing a clean inning, as Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports (Twitter links). Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Hochevar nevertheless landed a $10MM guarantee (over two years) to return to Kansas City. He was throwing in the 92 to 93 mph range in his work today, but despite that successful first appearance still seems likely to start the regular season on the DL.

Central Notes: Floyd, Cingrani, Morales, Harris

Indians right-hander Gavin Floyd, who re-fractured his right olecranon last week, is set to have surgery on Tuesday, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Floyd, who has pitched sparingly over the past two seasons due to Tommy John surgery and the original olecranon fracture in his right elbow, was expected to serve as a veteran presence in a largely inexperienced Indians rotation after signing a one-year, $4MM deal. Now, however, Cleveland is unlikely to receive any contribution from Floyd this year.

Here’s more from the game’s Central divisions…

  • Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani is being shifted from the rotation to the bullpen, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, as most figured the left-hander would step into the rotation following the trades of Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon. Cingrani has worked as a starter in the past and racked up excellent strikeout numbers, but he’s had shoulder issues as well, so perhaps the team feels this will keep him healthier. Cuban right-hander Raisel Igesias, meanwhile, will be stretched out to work as a starting pitcher.
  • Franklin Morales is building a strong case to take the injured Tim Collins‘ spot as a left-hander in the Royals‘ bullpen, writes Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. Morales has fired six scoreless innings and impressed Kansas City decision-makers. Brandon Finnegan is a well-regarded prospect and could have a shot at making the team, but the team still would like to develop him as a starter and he also hasn’t pitched as well this spring. No final decisions have been made on the situation, writes McCullough.
  • The Tigers added another player to camp yesterday when they reportedly signed Jiwan James, and another addition may on the horizon as well. SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets that the team may add veteran infielder Brendan Harris, presumably on a minor league deal. The 34-year-old Harris is a career .256/.314/.381 hitter in the Majors, with his best seasons coming between the Twins and Rays in 2007-08. Harris hasn’t played in the Majors much since 2010, however, receiving just 117 plate appearances with the Angels and hitting .206/.252/.355.

AL Notes: Infante, Baldoquin, Pelfrey

Let’s have a look at a few American League notes to round out the day’s news:

  • Royals second baseman Omar Infante is considering offseason elbow surgery — next offseason, that is — as he tells Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com (Twitter link). Infante recently took a cortisone shot to help reduce inflammation in his right arm, which has kept him out of game action thus far this spring. His ability to play through the difficulties in 2015, and rebound from a tough 2014 campaign, will be important to Kansas City’s ability to return to the postseason.
  • The Angels will finally get a look at major offseason international free agent signee Roberto Baldoquin, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports. Baldoquin, a twenty-year-old infielder out of Cuba, signed for $8MM but was kept out of camp by visa issues.
  • Righty Mike Pelfrey is vying to make good on the two-year, $11MM deal he signed with the Twins last year by battling his way into the fifth starter role, as Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. Last year was a wash for Pelfrey and Minnesota, as he struggled mightily before going down to elbow surgery. Pelfrey says he still believes in his ability to succeed as a starter, but is willing to throw from the pen if that’s what the team needs.

Offseason In Review: Kansas City Royals

The Royals snapped a 28-year postseason drought with quite a bit of flair, enjoying a dramatic comeback win over the A’s in the AL Wild Card game. The victory kicked off an eight-game win streak that brought them to the World Series, where they fell just shy of the ultimate prize in a seven-game classic with the Giants. They’ll look to return to the playoffs in 2014, but they’ll do so with a fairly different cast of characters following an active winter.

Major League Signings

  • Edinson Volquez, SP: Two years, $20MM with a $10MM mutual option ($3MM buyout)
  • Kendrys Morales, DH: Two years, $17MM with an $11MM mutual option ($1.5MM buyout)
  • Alex Rios, OF: One year, $11MM with a $12.5MM mutual option ($1.5MM buyout)
  • Luke Hochevar, RP: Two years, $10MM
  • Kris Medlen, SP: Two years, $8.5MM with a $10MM mutual option ($1MM buyout regardless of which side declines)
  • Jason Frasor, RP: One year, $1.25MM with a $2MM mutual option ($550K buyout)
  • Chris Young, SP/RP: One year, $675K
  • Yohan Pino, SP: One year, unknown amount (presumably at or near league minimum)
  • Total Spend: $68.425MM

Trades and Claims

Extensions

Notable Minor League Signings

Notable Losses

Needs Addressed

The Royals entered the 2014-15 offseason with two key free agents — James Shields and Nori Aoki — and a decision to make on Billy Butler’s $12.5MM option. The decision was made to buy out Butler’s option for $1MM, essentially signaling that the Royals didn’t feel he was worth $11.5MM on a one-year deal. As for Shields and Aoki, both were allowed to test the waters of the free agent market, and both signed in the NL West (San Diego and San Francisco, respectively).

Kendrys MoralesNow with three critical spots to fill — right field, DH and a starting pitcher — the Royals opted to diversify their risk by spreading out their offseason budget over the course of several one- and two-year deals. Mutual options — which are almost never exercised by both parties — were used as an apparent accounting tactic by GM Dayton Moore and his staff, as the team handed out five such options, likely in order to defer some money rather than commit to spending the entire $68MM+ over the next two years. The glut of mutual options comes with $7.55MM worth of buyouts that can obviously be delayed until after the 2016 season, somewhat lessening the immediate financial ramifications of Kansas City’s spending.

Structure wasn’t the only similar thread running throughout Kansas City’s offseason contracts, however. The Royals also employed a similar philosophy with many of these contracts. That is to say, they bought low on a surprising number of players. Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios both performed poorly in 2014, while Kris Medlen and Luke Hochevar didn’t throw so much as a pitch in the Majors due to spring Tommy John surgeries.

A healthy Hochevar would both replace and likely outperform the departed Aaron Crow, if Hochevar is able to pitch anywhere near the level he did in 2013. Jason Frasor’s bullpen spot was filled by none other than Jason Frasor, who re-signed and will again contribute to what should be a very strong relief group.

Volquez was signed to fill Shields’ rotation spot, though not necessarily his production. However, it’s worth noting that both rWAR and RA9-WAR value Volquez and Shields similarly, as both produced excellent bottom-line results in 2014. Clearly, Volquez lacks the track record of Shields, and his peripheral stats are far more concerning. However, while Volquez detractors who point out that much of his success was due to Pittsburgh’s excellent defense and expansive home park may have a point, those same claims can be made about the Royals. It’s not unreasonable, then, to think that Volquez could produce another solid ERA mark, if his newfound control can be repeated.

The addition of Pino on a Major League deal was a surprise, and perhaps the Royals wouldn’t have extended that offer had they known that Young would be available for $675K some four months later, but there’s little financial commitment here, and the pair gives Kansas City some rotation depth and a pair of candidates for long relief in the event of an injury to a starter. Cheap rotation depth is never a bad thing, and in Young’s case, the same caveats that applied to Volquez’s success apply to his own 2014 triumphs; it’s difficult to imagine a decisively better landing spot than Kansas City for a fly-ball pitcher with questionable peripherals.

But, perhaps the best lottery ticket purchased by Moore and his staff this offseason was Medlen, who could be ready to join the rotation (or bullpen) by midseason, which gives the Royals an excellent contingency plan in the event that a starter falls to injury. Moreover, with Jeremy Guthrie set to hit the open market following this season, Medlen will have a rotation spot open for him in 2016, when he is presumably back to full strength. A healthy Medlen is one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball — career 2.95 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 3.39 xFIP in 512 2/3 innings — and Kansas City’s stellar defense and spacious park should offset the transition from the NL to the AL.

The extensions for Hosmer and Herrera didn’t buy out any free agent years, and both will still be arbitration eligible after those deals are finished, but the club did spare itself some negotiation time next winter and attain a degree of cost certainty, which could be significant if Hosmer puts together a big season.

Questions Remaining

For all of the work the Royals did, there are still plenty of question marks surrounding this team. As noted above, the Royals bought low on a number of players, but they did so by paying a higher price than one might typically expect for bounceback candidates. Morales was one of baseball’s worst hitters in 2014, and while his contract could look like a bargain if he returns to his 2013 form, it could also look disastrous — particularly for a payroll-conscious team like Kansas City — if he cannot improve upon last year’s lack of production. (Also of note on the Morales deal, it’s worth pointing out that despite a putrid 2014 season, he will earn about $24.5MM from 2014-16 — a sum that is not wildly lower than the three-year, $30MM which he was criticized for rejecting in July 2013).

Rios was plagued by a thumb injury in 2014 that may have contributed to the disappearance of his power. Jumping to Kauffman Stadium doesn’t figure to boost his power numbers any, though better health may allow him to reach double-digit homers. Even if his bat bounces back, Ultimate Zone Rating gave him a negative mark in right field last year, and Defensive Runs Saved has given him negative marks in both of the past two seasons. Obviously, his defense could rebound, but Rios is also at the age where it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his glove-work begin to deteriorate.

The Royals will also be counting on a rebound from Omar Infante in the second season of his four-year contract, as the 32-year-old’s .252/.295/.337 batting line was his worst since 2005. On the other side of the diamond will be the confounding Mike Moustakas — an elite defender with notable power but feeble numbers versus lefties and a proclivity for infield flies. Moustakas would seem, on the surface, to have the tools of a star-level player, but he’s never hit consistently in the Majors. The same is true, albeit to a lesser extent, with Hosmer, who has shown flashes of the elite hitter he was projected to be but has never sustained that production for a full season. The fate of the 2015 Royals lies largely in the hands of their talented but inconsistent corner infielders.

The bullpen, of course, is among the game’s best, thanks to the late-inning triumvirate of Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera. A return to form for Hochevar would only strengthen that group, and bringing Frasor back was a strong low-cost move. However, the Royals will be without their top lefty, as Tim Collins is out for the year following Tommy John surgery. It’s possible that the injury will open a door for Brandon Finnegan, who was a force out of the bullpen in 2014. However, Finnegan, their top pick from last year’s draft, is viewed as a starter long-term, so the role may yet be given to Brian Flynn or a non-roster invitee like Franklin Morales or Joe Paterson.

Looking to the rotation, there’s no question that the loss of Shields will hurt, and Guthrie’s peripheral stats have indicated that a collapse could be imminent for years (though 2014 was his best season in quite some time). Whether or not Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy can take steps forward will be a critical component for this team.

Deals of Note

For all of the transactions made by Moore and the Royals this winter, the first one they made strikes me as the most curious. Declining Butler’s option seemed understandable from a statistical standpoint, given a two-year offensive decline and lack of defensive value. However, the fact that he signed a three-year, $30MM contract with the A’s seems to suggest that Butler likely would have had some legitimate trade value at one year and $12.5MM.

Oakland’s winning bid indicates that at least one other team had to be willing to pay somewhere in that neighborhood, and his option was valued at just $2.5MM higher than his eventual AAV, but with two fewer years of risk. Perhaps the Royals would only have gotten something of nominal value in return — similar to their own acquisition of Ervin Santana in exchange for Robert Fish two offseasons ago — but it does appear that there may have been an opportunity there.

Overview

As is the case in any offseason, it’s admittedly unfair to look back with the benefit of hindsight, but I can’t help but point out that the Royals spent $11MM on Rios when Aoki signed in San Francisco for a total of $4.7MM on a one-year deal. And, the ~$69MM total spent this offseason is just $6MM shy of the figure for which Shields signed in San Diego.

Clearly, there’s merit to spreading out the risk and shortening its length, as Kansas City did, but the club’s detractors will no doubt wonder if the team would have been better served spending about $80MM to retain Aoki and Shields than rolling the dice on so many uncertainties. While that path may have necessitated taking a minor league flier at the DH position, one could argue that there’s greater upside in taking that type of gamble on Ryan Ludwick or Juan Francisco than in giving Morales $17MM.

But, the risk of the Morales investment is somewhat of a microcosm of the entire Royals offseason. Diversified risk and deferred spending (in the form of backloaded deals and mutual options) characterize this past offseason, and Medlen’s contract in particular was one of the best low-risk signings of the winter in my eyes. If even a couple of the short-term deals issued by the reigning AL Champs pan out, they’ll be well-positioned in what should be a competitive AL Central.


Tim Collins Undergoes Tommy John Surgery

Royals southpaw Tim Collins underwent Tommy John surgery yesterday and will miss the 2015 season, tweets the Kansas City Star’s Andy McCullough. The operation was a known possibility after an MRI last week revealed damage to his ulnar collateral ligament.

The 25-year-old Collins has been a fixture in the Royals’ bullpen over the past four years since being acquired in a trade that sent Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth to the Braves. In 211 career innings — all with Kansas City — Collins has a 3.54 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9. Though he’s struggled with his control, clearly, he’s also held opponents to a .226 average in his career and been reasonably effective against both right- and left-handed batters. Collins also missed much of the 2014 season with a strained flexor tendon in his throwing elbow.

The loss of Collins for the year likely opens an opportunity for a non-roster invitee or perhaps top prospect Brandon Finnegan to earn a slot in manager Ned Yost’s bullpen. The Royals may want to continue developing Finnegan, their first-round pick from 2014, as a starter in the Minors, but he did surface as a strong bullpen option for Yost late last season and into the playoffs.

Franklin Morales, Joe Paterson and Chris Dwyer are all non-roster options that are in camp with the Royals. Of that group, Morales has far and away the most big league experience, though Paterson does have 40 Major League innings to his credit. Other options that are already on the 40-man roster include Brian Flynn, who was acquired in the Aaron Crow trade with the Marlins this winter, and former top prospect John Lamb. Both Lamb and Flynn are typically deployed as starters, though that certainly doesn’t preclude them from being converted to the bullpen.