The Royals aren’t yet ready to wrap up their offseason after agreeing to sign Brandon Moss, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, who reports they’re still looking for help in their rotation and bullpen (Twitter link). It’s worth noting that the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo linked the top free agent starter remaining, Jason Hammel, to Kansas City on Saturday. Here are more quick notes from around the big leagues.
- Speaking of Moss, his presence on the Royals could complicate Cheslor Cuthbert’s role for 2017, writes Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. Cuthbert was a candidate to spend time at designated hitter before Sunday, but that could be difficult with Moss in the fold. Cuthbert broke in last year at third base, though that opportunity only came as a result of Mike Moustakas’ injury-shortened campaign. Moustakas is set to return from a torn ACL, so Cuthbert probably won’t play much at third, and Dodd contends that a lack of range could prevent him from manning second base. Moreover, Cuthbert is out of minor league options, meaning the Royals are either going to have to keep him on their 25-man roster or subject the 24-year-old to waivers if they try to send him down.
- On Thursday, Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel will throw off a mound for the first time since August, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle writes. Keuchel missed more than a month at the end of last season due to shoulder trouble. Keuchel feels like he’s in good shape heading into the season. Last year, his innings pitched dipped from 232 in his Cy Young 2015 season to 168, but this year he’s had extra time off due to the injury, and he feels healthy as Spring Training approaches. He avoided arbitration with the Astros two weeks ago and will make $9.15MM in the penultimate season before he’s eligible for free agency.
- Shoulder problems limited right-hander Henderson Alvarez to 22 1/3 innings in 2015 and kept him from taking a major league mound at all last season, but he’s nonetheless drawing plenty of interest in free agency. “Many” clubs have requested Alvarez’s medicals, tweets FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, who adds that the soon-to-be 27-year-old should be ready for game action by May. Unfortunately, the ground-ball and control artist’s career has gone off the rails since he tossed 187 innings of 2.65 ERA ball with the Marlins in 2014. The Fish non-tendered Alvarez after the 2015 campaign, and the Athletics outrighted him this past October. The A’s guaranteed Alvarez to $4.25MM last winter, but he only gave the organization 33 innings – all in the minors – before undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September.