Kansas City Royals – MLB Trade Rumors 2021-01-23T17:23:37Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Royals Announce 2021 Coaching Staff]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=349330 2021-01-22T23:54:05Z 2021-01-22T23:44:51Z The Royals have announced their coaching staff under manager Mike Matheny for 2021, Anne Rogers of MLB.com relays. It includes a couple changes from last year’s edition.

Rusty Kuntz, who opted out of the 2020 campaign over COVID-19 concerns, will return to his prior role as first base coach next season. The 65-year-old has held multiple positions with the organization since 2008. Damon Hollins took over as first base coach in his absence last year, but he’ll go back to being a minor league instructor.

Kansas City has also added Tony Pena Jr. to its staff, and he’ll work with the Royals’ infielders, according to Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star. Pena Jr. was a shortstop with the Royals from 2007-09. He’s also the son of former KC manager Tony Pena and the brother of ex-Royals catcher Francisco Pena.

Rafael Belliard worked as the Royals’ infield coach in 2020, but he’ll return to his previous job as a special assistant to general manager Dayton Moore.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Sign Wade Davis To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=346018 2021-01-20T18:17:49Z 2021-01-20T16:33:54Z The Royals announced Wednesday that they’ve signed right-hander Wade Davis to a minor league contract. Davis, a client of Jet Sports, will presumably be invited to Major League Spring Training and compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster..

This marks the second straight year in which Kansas City has brought back one of its former All-Star closers on a minor league arrangement. The Royals inked Greg Holland to a similar contract a year ago and reaped considerable benefit when Holland not only turned in a rebound campaign but also agreed to return in 2021 on an affordable one-year deal.

Interestingly, The Athletic’s Alec Lewis reports (via Twitter) that Davis signed the exact same contract as Holland did a year ago. Davis will earn a $1.25MM salary if he makes the big league roster and can secure an additional $1.125MM via incentives. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that Davis can also opt out of the contract late in Spring Training if he does not make Kansas City’s Opening Day roster.

The Royals traded Davis to the Cubs in exchange for Jorge Soler prior to the 2017 season — a deal that has paid off for GM Dayton Moore and his staff in the long run. Soler led the league in home runs in 2019 and has emerged as a key piece in the Royals’ lineup, though he’s currently controlled for just one more season. Still, the Royals will now have the potential to benefit from both players in that one-for-one swap just four years after making the deal.

Davis was quite good in what proved to be a one-year stop with the Cubs, but things went south for him not long after going to the Rockies on a three-year deal with a record-setting (for a reliever) $17.33MM annual salary. Davis racked up 43 saves in the first year of the deal but did so with a rather pedestrian 4.13 ERA. A few particularly ugly blown saves were the culprit in that lackluster mark, however, and Davis’ strikeout and walk numbers remained strong.

In the second and third years of the deal, though, the wheels completely came off, as Davis was blown up for a 9.77 ERA and a 5.37 SIERA in 47 innings. At his best with the Royals, Davis was striking out 39 percent of the hitters he faced and walking just eight percent of them. In 2019-20, he punched out 19.5 percent of opponents, walked 13.9 percent of them and surrendered 10 home runs in those 47 frames. Davis was hampered by a shoulder strain in 2020, which may have contributed to a greatly diminished 91.7 mph average velocity on his fastball.

There’s little harm for the Royals in seeing if they can catch lightning in a bottle with Davis as they did last winter with Holland and, even more so, Trevor Rosenthal. He’ll vie for a spot in a bullpen that is set to lose some notable veterans but has a handful of intriguing, young, hard throwers hoping to establish themselves in 2021.

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TC Zencka <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Martín Pérez, Coliseum]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=338945 2021-01-17T02:21:22Z 2021-01-17T02:21:22Z There was some heavy lifting done in the baseball world yesterday: it was arbitration filing day, as well as the opening of the international signing period. Today is a recovery day. Here’s the latest…

  • Before agreeing to terms with the Red Sox, southpaw Martín Pérez had no shortage of suitors. The Astros, Padres, Royals, White Sox, and Rays all showed interest in Pérez, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com (via Twitter). The Padres and White Sox have generally set their sights a touch higher than Pérez, but there’s clearly some trust around the league in Perez’s ability to contribute to a playoff-caliber pitching staff.
  • The Oakland A’s have long faced questions about their ability to stay in Oakland because of stadium concerns. The Coliseum sits on land with split ownership between the A’s and the city of Oakland. The organization continues to look for a site to build a new stadium, but the city of Oakland has also received a number of offers for their portion of the Coliseum land. One of those offers comes from former Oakland pitcher Dave Stewart, per Susan Slusser and Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. Stewart, an Oakland native, submitted a $115MM bid with plans to revitalize the area, whether or not the A’s continue to play there. The city of Oakland is reviewing all offers.
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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: 1/15/21]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=337191 2021-01-16T03:42:52Z 2021-01-15T16:51:22Z The deadline to exchange arbitration figures is today at 1pm ET. As of this morning, there were 125 arbitration-eligible players who’d yet to agree to terms on their contract for the upcoming 2021 season. Arbitration is muddier than ever before thanks to the shortened 2020 schedule, which most believe will lead to record number of arb hearings this winter. Be that as it may, it’s still reasonable to expect dozens of contractual agreements to filter in over the next couple of hours.

We’ll highlight some of the more high-profile cases in separate posts with more in-depth breakdowns, but the majority of today’s dealings will be smaller-scale increases that don’t radically alter a team’s payroll or a player’s trade candidacy. As such, we’ll just run through most of today’s agreements in this post.

I’ve embedded MLBTR’s 2021 Arbitration Tracker in the post (those in the mobile app or viewing on mobile web will want to turn their phones sideways). Our tracker can be sorted by team, by service time and/or by Super Two status, allowing users to check the status on whichever groups of players they like. You can also check out Matt Swartz’s projected arbitration salaries for this year’s class, and we’ll do a quick sentence on each player’s agreement at the bottom of this post as well, with the most recent agreements sitting atop the list.

Today’s Agreements (chronologically, newest to oldest)

Read more

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TC Zencka <![CDATA[GM Dayton Moore To Be Inducted Into Sports Missouri Hall Of Fme]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=331468 2021-01-11T18:53:53Z 2021-01-11T18:53:53Z
  • Royals Senior VP of Baseball Ops and General Manager Dayton Moore will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall Of Fame later in January, per Alex Lewis of the Athletic (via Twitter). Moore is entering his 15th season in 2021 as the GM of the Royals. He was named Executive of the Year by MLB in both 2014 and 2015 for his role as the architect of back-to-back pennant-winning clubs in Kansas City. Those playoff teams are the only Royals teams to make the playoffs since they won the World Series in 1985. He was inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame in 2014.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Royals Could Add Left-Handed Bat]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=330115 2021-01-10T01:03:04Z 2021-01-10T00:49:11Z
  • Royals Assistant General Managers Scott Sharp and Jin Wong remain active in reaching out to agents about potential free agents, writes MLB.com’s Jason Beck. The Royals have been one of the more proactive teams in the Majors so far this winter, coming to terms with Mike Minor, Greg Holland, Michael A. Taylor, and Carlos Santana to Major League deals, all before the new year. The Royals are still potentially on the lookout for a left-handed bat, notes Beck. With just about $87MM in payroll commitments, the Royals have just a couple million before matching last year’s payroll. It wasn’t long ago, however, that Kansas City ran up payrolls over the century mark, so it’s possible they could extend yet another Major League contract, should the right deal fall their way.
  • Ryan O’Hearn, Franchy Cordero, and Nicky Lopez are the only pure left-handed bats on the roster, and only the latter has a guaranteed spot as a regular player. Adalberto Mondesi and Carlos Santana are switch-hitters who will be in the lineup every day, but both have traditionally fared better hitting from the right side. In terms of their targets, Beck also notes that the Royals are growing comfortable with Hunter Dozier as the regular third baseman. All that in mind, a lefty corner outfielder would fit nicely onto the roster. Should they not find a bat at an appropriate price point, however, the Royals are believers in the long-term ability of Khalil Lee, who is a candidate for playing time in 2021.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Sign Ervin Santana To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=318668 2021-01-04T23:29:32Z 2020-12-29T17:10:08Z 11:10am: Santana’s deal comes with a $1.5MM base if he makes the big league roster, tweets Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star. He can also earn an additional $1.75MM via incentives. Santana can ask for his release May 15 if he’s not on the Royals’ 40-man roster, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

    10:52am: The Royals announced Tuesday that they’ve signed old friend Ervin Santana to a minor league contract. The veteran right-hander will presumably head to Major League Spring Training and vie for a roster spot.

    Santana, 38, didn’t sign with a team for the 2020 season and hasn’t appeared in the big leagues since an early-2019 run with the White Sox failed to pan out. He starred for the Royals back 2013 — the start of a five-year run that marked the most consistently productive stretch of the two-time All-Star’s career. Santana racked up 211 innings of 3.24 ERA/3.93 FIP ball with Kansas City that year but found a harsh market in free agency after rejecting a qualifying offer and eyeing too large a contract early in the winter.

    He eventually opted to take a one-year deal with the Braves — one that continues to benefit Atlanta to this day — before returning to the market in the 2014-15 offseason and cashing in on a four-year, $55MM contract with the Twins. Santana was the Twins’ most consistent pitcher for much of that deal, but the wheels came off in year four after he underwent surgery to repair a tendon in the middle finger on his right hand. After pitching to a 3.47 ERA in his first 500 innings in Minnesota, Santana was clobbered for an 8.03 ERA in just 24 2/3 innings in the final year of the deal. He signed with the ChiSox that offseason but was tagged for 14 runs in 13 1/3 innings.

    It’s been quite some time since Santana was a productive big league starter now, but he’ll head back to the Royals organization in search of a job somewhere on a staff that looks heavily reliant on young, still-developing arms. Kansas City’s rotation has veterans Mike Minor and Danny Duffy locked into spots, and Rule 5 gem Brad Keller is set to open a fourth year in the rotation as well.

    Jakob Junis gives the club an inconsistent but at times solid option, and Kansas City has a bevy of upper-level pitching prospects in the form of Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar. Both Singer and Bubic made their MLB debuts in 2020, but neither is exactly a lock to hold down a spot all year — particularly given the difficulties of managing innings workloads in the wake of the shortened 2020 schedule.

    The 38-year-old Santana will give the Royals a veteran depth option to compete for either a rotation spot or a long-relief job. He’s been pitching in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, logging a 2.61 ERA and a 25-to-11 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings to date.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Re-Sign Erick Mejia To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=309490 2020-12-21T20:28:57Z 2020-12-21T20:28:57Z The Royals announced Monday that they’ve agreed to a new minor league contract with infielder/outfielder Erick Mejia, whom they’d non-tendered earlier in the month.

    The 26-year-old Mejia has appeared in 17 games with Kansas City over the past two seasons, batting at a .167/.244/.222 clip in 43 trips to the plate while logging time in center field (46 innings), at third base (26 innings), second base (six innings), left field (six innings) and at shortstop (one inning).

    Mejia, originally signed by the Mariners, was traded to the Dodgers in exchange for Joe Wieland in 2016. The Dodgers shipped him to Kansas City in the three-team swap that sent Joakim Soria from the Royals to the White Sox and lefty Scott Alexander from K.C. to L.A., netting the Royals Mejia and righty Trevor Oaks. In parts of three Triple-A seasons, Mejia is a .268/.336/.378 hitter — numbers that fall in line with his career .274/.339/.380 slash across several levels through eight minor league campaigns.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres, Royals Among Teams Interested In Jurickson Profar]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=309248 2020-12-21T18:24:29Z 2020-12-21T18:24:29Z The Padres and Royals are among the teams showing interest in free-agent infielder/outfielder Jurickson Profar, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets the same, adding that the Padres “are trying” to bring Profar back to the organization. It’s sensible that the Padres want him back; he was solid there in 2020 and GM A.J. Preller was an assistant GM with the Rangers during Profar’s developmental years. Royals GM Dayton Moore recently expressed interest in a left-handed bat who can handle third base or the outfield, and the switch-hitting Profar fits that mold.

    Profar’s end-of-season numbers certainly look appealing. The 27-year-old (28 in February) slashed .278/.343/.428 with seven homers, six doubles and seven steals through 202 plate appearances, adding in a career-low 13.9 percent strikeout rate. It’s the second time in three seasons that Profar rated as an above-average hitter per both OPS+ and wRC+.

    That said, there’s also reason for some caution with regard to Profar’s production. Things can change quickly in a 60-game, 200-plate appearance sample, and that was certainly the case in this instance. Through the first 30 games and 111 plate appearances of the 2020 season, Profar posted a .181/.291/.319 slash with four home runs and one double. He had some miserable batted-ball luck in that time (.171 BABIP), but Profar’s season exemplifies the difficulty of how to evaluate players coming off this year’s 60-game slate; for half the year he was among the worst hitters in MLB, and for his final 91 plate appearances he was among the game’s best (albeit with a whopping .423 BABIP in that time as the pendulum swung the other direction).

    Profar is lacking in terms of exit velocity and hard-hit rate, but his low strikeout rate and a passable walk rate still lead metrics like Statcast’s expected batting average (xBA) and expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) to peg him as a slightly above-average hitter based on the quality and regularity of contact made.

    Defensively, Profar has been moved off second base twice in the past two seasons — first in Oakland and then in San Diego (although the move in San Diego was perhaps more about Jake Cronenworth’s emergence as it was Profar’s struggles). Profar developed a case of the yips while serving as Oakland’s regular second baseman early in 2019, at one point making eight errors in a span of 25 games. He righted the ship but was still dinged hard by defensive metrics: -15 Defensive Runs Saved and -5 Outs Above Average. His marks in 2020 were better, and it’s only fair to point out that those same metrics suggest Profar was anywhere from a passable to very good left fielder for the Padres in 2020.

    Taken in totality, Profar’s last three seasons have produced a league-average hitter who is capable of playing three infield positions, but perhaps none of them especially well, with an encouraging but small sample of work in left field. He’s an efficient base stealer (26-for-28) but by no means a burner, as Statcast puts his average sprint speed right around the 50th percentile throughout the league. He’s toward the bottom of the league in hard contact but toward the top of the league in terms of putting the ball in play.

    Profar is a useful player as is, but the allure of his former prospect status and his youth surely hold appeal to other clubs. He’ll play all of next season at 28, and while it was close to a decade ago, Profar was the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball heading into the 2013 season, topping the lists from Baseball America, MLB.com, ESPN and Baseball Prospectus alike. He’s had two shoulder surgeries since that time, however, which effectively cost him two full years of development. He was also quite arguably rushed to the Majors in the first place, debuting as a 19-year-old for a win-now Rangers club back in 2012.

    There’s still an air of upside surrounding Profar because of that status and his age, even if his batted-ball profile isn’t a particularly encouraging one. The question for Profar may be one of whether to take a one-year deal in hopes of a cashing in on a strong 2021 season or taking a multi-year pact at an annual value that would look like a bargain if he does indeed elevate his game in 2021. Those decisions will be weighed by his camp as he continues to field offers, although the Royals have been surprisingly aggressive with players they identify as targets, which would seemingly bode well for Profar’s market.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Could Add Another Left-Handed Bat]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=306133 2020-12-17T23:35:53Z 2020-12-17T23:35:53Z The Royals have been one of MLB’s most active clubs early in the offseason, adding four free agents — Mike Minor, Carlos Santana, Greg Holland and Michael A. Taylor — on big league deals and jettisoning Maikel Franco via non-tender. General manager Dayton Moore isn’t calling it an offseason yet, however, as he detailed in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM this morning (Twitter link, with audio).

    Franco’s non-tender appeared to set the stage for Hunter Dozier to slot in at third base, and Moore made clear that the organization’s preference is indeed for Dozier to solidify the position. However, the GM noted that due to Dozier’s versatility, he’s still open to adding a third baseman and deploying Dozier elsewhere (likely in the outfield). As such, Kansas City’s search for another bat in the lineup won’t necessarily be restricted by position. Moore did acknowledge that his ideal addition would bat from the left side of the plate.

    That certainly makes sense, as the club’s lineup leans right-handed at the moment with Salvador Perez, Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler and Dozier all locked into regular roles. The aforementioned Taylor also hits right-handed. Santana and Adalberto Mondesi give the club a pair of switch-hitters, while Franchy Cordero and light-hitting second baseman Nicky Lopez bat from the left side.

    Cordero, of course, has yet to solidify himself as a big league regular, but the Royals are hopeful that’ll happen in 2021. Moore specifically cites getting playing time for Cordero as a priority in 2021, so it seems he’ll join a carousel of Merrifield, Taylor, Edward Olivares and any external option signed by Moore (or Dozier, should the Royals sign a third baseman). The club could also find playing time for Merrifield at second base if Lopez’s offensive woes continue.

    There’s no shortage of lefty-swinging third basemen on the market at the moment. Any of Jake Lamb, Travis Shaw or Brad Miller would be affordable, as would veteran switch-hitters like Asdrubal Cabrera or Marwin Gonzalez (the latter of whom could play third base or in the outfield). The list of outfield options is considerably longer, with Michael Brantley headlining the list of lefty-hitting free agents. Japanese star Haruki Nishikawa would fit the Royals’ frequent mold of speed/defense-oriented players, and if Moore’s previous comments about bolstering his team’s OBP are still a guiding factor, veterans like Matthew Joyce, Nick Markakis or Robbie Grossman are all sensible, affordable targets.

    The Royals’ payroll currently checks in at about $87MM, so there’s room to add another bat, a more experienced backup option behind the plate and/or an additional arm to the bullpen while still remaining within striking distance of last year’s $95MM Opening Day mark (prior to prorating salaries).

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals To Re-Sign Jeison Guzman]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=305572 2020-12-17T02:53:54Z 2020-12-17T02:53:54Z The Royals have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with infielder Jeison Guzman, per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez (Twitter link). He had recently been non-tendered but will re-join the Kansas City organization.

    Guzman only recently reached his 22nd birthday and hasn’t yet appeared above the Class A level. He was originally added to the 40-man roster in advance of the 2019 Rule 5 draft.

    While the switch-hitting middle-infielder hasn’t yet conquered low-minors pitching, he’s considered a slick fielder and did get a chance to develop at the Royals’ alternate training site during the 2020 campaign. Despite a brief call-up to the active roster in August, he did not see any big-league action.

    Guzman joins several other players in returning to the Royals after being dropped from the big league roster.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Royals Re-Sign Greg Holland]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=300880 2020-12-14T20:32:40Z 2020-12-14T19:39:38Z The Royals have re-signed reliever Greg Holland, the team announced. It’s a one-year, $2.75MM deal, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN (Twitter link). The pact also contains a possible $1.5MM in incentives, reports Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com (via Twitter).

    Holland, 35, had a stellar rebound effort in Kansas City this past season after a pair of down years. Over 28.1 innings spanning 28 games, the right-hander worked to a 1.91 ERA/2.52 FIP. His 27.7% strikeout rate, while strong, wasn’t much different than it had been in prior seasons. Holland’s turnaround was more a reflection of a significant improvement in his strike-throwing. After walking over 15% of opposing hitters in each of the prior two seasons, the veteran sliced his walk rate to 6.3% in his return trip to Kansas City.

    Always known for his slider, Holland leaned on the breaking stuff more than ever last season. Cutting his fastball rate from nearly half to less than two-fifths of his offerings, per Brooks Baseball, Holland generated whiffs on 13.1% of his pitches despite pedestrian velocity. Using the heater less often corresponded with an improvement in the pitch’s effectiveness. Presumably, that reflects opposing hitters’ expectations of seeing a breaking ball.

    Even though the Royals weren’t contenders, Holland stayed in Kansas City past this year’s August 31 trade deadline. He’ll now return for another season at the back end of an intriguing bullpen. Kyle ZimmerJosh StaumontJesse Hahn and Scott Barlow all join Holland in coming off strong seasons, making the relief corps a high-upside area of the roster for manager Mike Matheny.

    This continues an active early portion of the offseason for Royals GM Dayton Moore and the front office. Moore suggested last month he expects the club to be competitive next season. Kansas City has since brought back Holland and added Carlos Santana and Mike Minor. The Royals still seem like something of a longshot to stick with the Twins, White Sox and Indians over a full season, but they’re markedly improved over the 2018-19 teams that each lost over 100 games.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Angels Hire Gene Watson As Special Advisor]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=299037 2020-12-12T21:59:00Z 2020-12-12T21:59:00Z Gene Watson is leaving the Royals for the Angels’ front office, ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link).  Watson will be a special advisor to new Angels GM Perry Minasian, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, and The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya recently chronicled Watson’s longstanding ties to Minasian dating back to Minasian’s childhood.

    Watson has spent the last 14 seasons with the Royals, the last three as the team’s senior director of pro scouting and a special assistant to GM Dayton Moore.  Watson previously worked as a scout with the Padres, Braves, and Marlins before coming to Kansas City, and his long career as a respected evaluator put him on the radar for general manager openings in the past.  Of greatest relevance, Watson interviewed for the Angels’ job before Minasian was hired, and Watson also spoke with the Astros about their GM vacancy last offseason.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Royals Re-Sign Bubba Starling, Carlos Sanabria, Foster Griffin]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=299107 2020-12-12T21:26:23Z 2020-12-12T21:09:18Z The Royals have brought back three familiar faces, announcing that outfielder Bubba Starling, right-hander Carlos Sanabria, and left-hander Foster Griffin have all been signed to minor league contracts.  The trio were all cut loose by the Royals within the last two weeks, with Starling being non-tendered and Sanabria and Griffin both electing free agency after being designated for assignment by the club.

    Starling is the best-known name of the bunch, owing to his status as the fifth overall pick of the 2011 draft.  A local product from Gardner, Kansas, Starling never put things together in the minors (and considered retiring in 2017) until posting an .806 OPS in 285 PA for Triple-A Omaha in 2019, which earned him his first trip to the big leagues.  Over 261 plate appearances over the 2019-20 seasons, Starling has a .204/.246/.298 slash line against MLB pitching.

    Sanabria was claimed off waivers from the Astros in October.  The righty (who turns 24 in January) made his Major League debut in 2020, tossing two innings over two games.  An international signing out of Venezuela in 2014, Sanabria has spent his entire career in Houston’s organization, posting a 3.81 ERA, 2.15 K/BB rate, and 8.9 K/9 over 354 minor league innings and working exclusively as a reliever over the last three seasons.

    Griffin also made his MLB debut in 2020, throwing 1 2/3 hitless innings for the Royals on July 27 before suffering a tear in his UCL during that first outing.  Griffin will now miss the entire 2021 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.  The Royals drafted Griffin with the 28th overall pick in 2014, and he has a 4.77 ERA, 2.19 K/BB rate, and 7.2 K/9 over 708 innings in Kansas City’s farm system.

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Tigers, Pirates, Royals]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=296591 2020-12-10T20:39:46Z 2020-12-10T20:39:46Z The Tigers have added former outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. to their major league coaching staff, the team announced. He’ll “focus on hitting instruction,” according to the Tigers. While the Tigers didn’t name an exact role for Cruz, it appears he will be their assistant hitting coach to Scott Coolbaugh, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com observes. Cruz spent 1997-2008 with a handful of different major league teams and clubbed 204 home runs. He has since worked for the MLBPA and as an ESPN analyst. He’s now part of the same organization as his son, infielder Trei Cruz, whom the Tigers drafted in the third round last summer.

    • The Pirates announced a number of additions to their baseball operations staff via a press release. Pittsburgh hired Rafael Freitas as their new Major League Head Athletic Trainer, Terence Brannic as Head Major League Strength & Conditioning Coach, Adam Vish as a Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Seth Steinhauer joins the Major League staff as Physical Therapist after sour seasons as the Pirates’ minor league rehab coordinator. Josh Hopper heads to Pittsburgh from the college ranks as the Coordinator of Pitching Development. Hopper spent the last three seasons as pitching coach at Dallas Baptist University after nine seasons in the same role with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
    • The Royals don’t have any staff additions to announce, but they are adding a new video board that will cover the Hall of Fame wall in left field, writes Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). The team has released a series of tweets here, and here, showing the construction project getting underway. The new board will be the tallest HDR video board in baseball with 5.1 million total pixels.
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