OCT. 30: Oaks is likely to be outrighted, reports Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com (via Twitter). As a player with less than three years of big league service who has never before been outrighted, he would not have the ability to elect free agency. If he clears waivers, then, he’ll remain in the Kansas City organization.
OCT. 29: The Royals announced today that they have reinstated right-hander Trevor Oaks from the 60-day injured list and designated him for assignment.
Oaks, 26, was sidelined for all of the 2019 with hip labrum surgery but had returned to action in the Arizona Fall League, giving the organization a chance to evaluate him before issuing a decision. Over his seven AFL appearances, Oaks allowed six earned runs in a dozen frames with an 11:3 K/BB ratio. Clearly, the showing wasn’t deemed sufficient to warrant tying up a 40-man spot.
Acquired in a 2018 trade that sent Scott Alexander to the Dodgers and Joakim Soria to the White Sox, Oaks got his first brief taste of the majors in his first season with the Kansas City organization in 2018. He was knocked around in four outings in the bigs but carried a 3.23 ERA in 128 1/3 Triple-A frames last year — albeit with only 70 strikeouts to go with 44 free passes.
While Oaks’ prospect status has dipped from his days with the Dodgers — he was considered among L.A.’s 20 best farmhands at the time of the trade — he could still conceivably be brought back to compete for a job in Spring Training next year. He’d first need to clear waivers for that to happen, though his injury-ruined season increases the chances of that happening.