Pedro Ciriaco Rumors
Justin Maxwell's walkoff grand slam yesterday helped the Royals earn their 82nd win of the season, thus ensuring that the club will enjoy a winning record for just the second time in the last 19 seasons (and first time since 2003). The Royals sit 3.5 games behind the Indians for the last AL wild card slot, so while it would take a big finish to reach the postseason, K.C. will go into the offseason on a high note for the first time in years. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star looks ahead to potential winter moves for the Royals as part of a reader Q&A piece...
- "It's not a slam dunk" that Ned Yost returns as the Royals manager in 2014, as Dutton believes that the lack of rumors about contract talks could indicate that the club is considering a change in the dugout. Dutton recently reported that owner David Glass was leaving Yost's fate up to GM Dayton Moore, and Moore said he is waiting until after the season to discuss contracts with Yost and the coaching staff.
- Moore and his staff should be credited, Dutton opines, for getting major contributions from Maxwell and Emilio Bonifacio in what seemed like minor trades at the time. Maxwell, acquired from the Astros on deadline day, has a .972 OPS in 89 PA as a Royal, while Bonifacio is hitting .287/.359/.353 over 155 PA and is 15-for-17 in steal attempts since being claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays in mid-August.
- Bonifacio's emergence means that the Royals no longer have to make second base a major priority this offseason. Bonifacio could start and the team is happy with Pedro Ciriaco as the utility infielder, though Bonifacio would return to his original utility role if the club does pick someone else up. With Bonifacio and Ciriaco in the fold, Dutton doesn't see much room for Chris Getz or Johnny Giavotella on the roster.
- The Royals will probably check in on Shin-Soo Choo this winter but Dutton suspects the free agent outfielder will be too expensive for the team. Choo is the fifth-ranked player on Tim Dierkes' Free Agent Power Rankings and will draw a lot of interest from several teams, so Dutton is probably right in assuming that K.C. will be priced out.
- An outfielder could be an offseason target for the team, as Dutton feels this would be the easiest spot to add a much-needed bat to the lineup. Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain are locks to return, with Maxwell, David Lough and Jarrod Dyson all currently in the mix for the third OF spot or a bench role.
- In terms of big-name free agent outfielders, Dutton sees Carlos Beltran as a likelier bet to sign with the Royals than Curtis Granderson, but while Beltran would be more open of the two to sign with K.C. for market value, Dutton still deems a Beltran return as "not likely." As MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth noted yesterday in his Beltran vs. Nelson Cruz Free Agent Faceoff piece, Beltran is a defensive question mark at this point in his career, so he might not be a fit with the Royals given how Billy Butler is entrenched at DH.
THURSDAY: The Royals have outrighted Ciriaco to Triple-A Omaha, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). It seems likely that the Royals were interested in adding Ciriaco as organizational depth but didn't want to use a 40-man roster spot on him and placed him on waivers. This time, he cleared and was assigned to the minor leagues.
TUESDAY: The Royals claimed shortstop Pedro Ciriaco off waivers from the Padres, according to a team press release. Ciriaco had been designated for assignment on Friday. The Royals now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
Ciriaco, 27, hit .228/.288/.342 in 126 plate appearances for the Red Sox and Padres this year, spending most of his time at shortstop. Ciriaco was signed by the Diamondbacks out of the Dominican Republic in 2003. He went to the Pirates in a trade deadline deal three years ago, was granted free agency after the 2011 season, signed as a minor league free agent with Boston in January 2012, and was acquired in trade by the Padres in June of this year after they had designated him for assignment.
Prior to the 2011 season, Ciriaco was ranked 27th among Pirates prospects by Baseball America. They noted his "plus speed, smooth glove, and strong arm," suggesting his bat would determine whether he could land an everyday role. The Royals' middle infield mix currently consists of Alcides Escobar, Johnny Giavotella, Miguel Tejada, and Elliot Johnson.
The Padres announced via press release that infielder Pedro Ciriaco has been designated for assignment.
Ciriaco, 27, was acquired in June after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox. He appeared in 23 games for the Padres, playing mostly shortstop and hitting .238/.284/.333 in 68 plate appearances. The Padres now have 10 days to assign Ciriaco to the minors, trade him or release him.
The DFA comes as part of a flurry of moves in which San Diego also reinstated infielders Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko from the 15-day DL and promoted pitcher Sean O’Sullivan from Triple-A Tucson. O’Sullivan, 25, will start tonight against the Giants. He has a 3.88 ERA in 102 Triple-A innings this year.
The Padres have acquired Pedro Ciriaco from the Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named later, tweets Peter Gammons of the MLB Network. The 27-year-old infielder was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Monday. Because he is out of options, Ciriaco will need to be placed on San Diego's 25-man roster.
Ciriaco hit .293/.315/.390 in 272 plate appearances for the BoSox last season, but batted just .216/.293/.353 in limited playing time this year. The signing of Stephen Drew and the emergence of Jose Iglesias made Ciriaco expendable to the Red Sox.
San Diego recently lost Jedd Gyorko to the disabled list, so it makes sense that the Friars were on the lookout for infield help. In 370 Major League plate appearances, Ciriaco is a .287/.315/.398 hitter. He has extensive experience at third base, shortstop and second base, but Ciriaco also played all three outfield positions and first base as well during his Red Sox tenure.
The Red Sox have designated out of options infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment to clear a 25-man roster spot for the returning Will Middlebrooks, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (on Twitter).
Ciriaco, 27, hit .216/.293/.353 in 58 plate appearances for the Red Sox this season -- a far cry from last season's line of .293/.315/.390 (in 272 plate appearances). The Red Sox have used him all over the diamond, as he's seen at least three innings at every position aside from catcher since signing a minor league deal prior to the 2012 season. As Abraham notes, there's a decent chance that Ciriaco could clear waivers and be outrighted to Triple-A.