MLB Trade Rumors » » Kansas City Royals 2017-10-19T03:28:36Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dayton Moore Suggests He’s Not Interested In Leaving Royals]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=105014 2017-10-18T20:44:22Z 2017-10-18T20:44:22Z Royals GM Dayton Moore has been mentioned repeatedly as a theoretical candidate to join the Braves’ front office. But he largely dismissed any such notion in comments today to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (Twitter link).

Moore, who has run Kansas City’s baseball operations since 2006, said that continuing on in that role is “doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” He also heaped praise upon Royals owner David Glass, saying he “adore[s] Mr. Glass and the opportunity he has given us.”

Needless to say, it doesn’t sound as if Moore has much interest in considering a new opportunity in Atlanta. The Braves are in need of a new GM after John Coppolella was forced to resign amidst an international signing scandal — the full fallout of which remains to be seen.

There were indications that Moore could at least consider the GM position — or, perhaps more likely, a move to replace Braves president of baseball operations John Hart at the apex of the baseball ops department — despite the success he has found with the Royals. (See here and here.) After all, Moore’s ties to the Braves run deep: he broke into pro ball with the organization and ascended to an assistant GM position there before leaving for K.C. And the Royals are entering what looks to be a transition phase after finally reaching the promised land in 2015.

Perhaps there’s still some room for a change of heart after today’s comments. But Moore surely said what he did for a reason — presumably, that ongoing speculation isn’t helpful as the Royals prepare for an important offseason. He was addressing the team’s future today, after all, when he announced that Dale Sveum will serve as bench coach while Mitch Maier will coach first for the organization next year. (Twitter links via Flanagan.)

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dutton Recalls Tales Of Royals' Trades Of Beltran, Dye, Damon]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104977 2017-10-18T16:15:17Z 2017-10-18T16:09:44Z
  • Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star welcomed former Royals beat writer Bob Dutton onto his podcast this week, and the two discussed a wide variety of topics, including several looks back to the Royals of the early 2000s. Royals fans will want to check out the entire podcast, but the portion that takes a retrospective look at some historic Royals trades undoubtedly will have a broader appeal to all baseball fans. Dutton recalls details of the trades of Royals stars Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye and provides an inside look at each of those deals. Perhaps most notably, he recounts the story of Beltran, with whom the Royals had reached a tentative agreement on a three-year deal that never came to fruition after it was presented to ownership. That spring, the Royals and Rangers were discussing a swap of Beltran for Michael Young and Hank Blalock when Beltran suffered an oblique injury, per Dutton. It’s a fascinating look back in transaction history, and I’d recommend a full listen to any who read this. This also makes for an appropriate place to wish Dutton the best in his retirement from the beat; Dutton provided outstanding coverage of the Royals for years before joining the Mariners’ beat with the Tacoma News Tribune earlier this decade. I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting him in person but have admired his excellent work for years. Best wishes to Bob from those of us at MLBTR.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Poll: How Much Will Eric Hosmer Earn In Free Agency?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104710 2017-10-14T14:12:18Z 2017-10-14T02:34:59Z We’ve heard varying suggestions on just how much money soon-to-be free agent Eric Hosmer may be seeking, or may command, on the open market. That’ll all be sorted out when the negotiations start in earnest, but it’s fun to begin thinking about it now.

    We’re now just a few weeks away now from the start of free agency, after all. First, the Royals will issue a qualifying offer — which will be at a $17.4MM rate. Hosmer, inevitably, will reject it, making him a free agent just weeks after his 28th birthday.

    By now, Hosmer’s broad profile is well-known. The former third overall draft pick played in all 162 games this year, slashing a robust .318/.385/.498 and banging 25 home runs for the second consecutive season. That’s quite a bit more than he has produced previously, though Hosmer has had other solid seasons at the plate.

    The question teams will be asking is whether there’s reason to believe that Hosmer can maintain that level of output. He rode a .351 batting average on balls in play in 2017, steadily outpacing his .316 career rate. And Hosmer has stayed within the same general K/BB range as ever, while continuing to put the ball on the ground over half the time. His hard-hit rate dropped below thirty percent for the first time since his debut season. When he did put the ball in the air, it went out of the park over twenty percent of the time for the second consecutive season, though it’s still fair to wonder whether that’s sustainable.

    There are other factors, too, of course. Hosmer is no longer a double-digit annual stolen base threat and hasn’t always drawn strong reviews from baserunning metrics. Likewise, defensive metrics have never matched his generally positive reputation with the glove. In these areas, perhaps, Hosmer’s reputation outpaces what some of the numbers say — as a result, he hasn’t even yet cracked 10 fWAR over his career — although these are among the most controversial areas of sabermetric analysis.

    Perhaps the most interesting concept, though, is the idea that Hosmer delivers value that outpaces his direct, on-the-field contributions. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star just published an interesting, though eminently arguable look at the evident position that super-agent Scott Boras intends to take on the matter this fall. Most intriguingly, Boras is said to be readying for an attempt at quantifying the ways in which Hosmer’s halo adds value by producing “a metric on intangibles.”

    Mellinger cites an executive that thinks Boras will be looking for something like $20MM annually on a decade-long term. That’s quite an ask for a first baseman with the stat line of Hosmer’s — particularly in a day and age when a far superior hitter such as Edwin Encarnacion can only get $20MM over three years (albeit at a significantly older age) and with a number of other quality bats available in free agency.

    Plenty of less-than-amazing batters have taken down big money over long terms, though typically such players were expected to deliver significant value in the field and on the bases. Jason Heyward, for example, got $184MM over eight years (plus two opt out opportunities). But Heyward was only 26 and was one of the game’s most valued defenders. Oh, and he also carried a lifetime 118 wRC+ to that point — clearly superior to Hosmer’s 111 wRC+ career mark, though the latter did have the bigger offensive platform season.

    We aren’t going to get a sneak peek at Boras’s binder. But Mellinger lays out the broad case for Hosmer to out-earn his prior productivity:

    But consider this. The Royals built their success, in large part, on intangibles. How much did they talk about clubhouse friendships, of bonds formed in the minor leagues, and of the joy they found in playing for each other?

    For argument’s sake, let’s assume that was overstated, and that the parade happened because of athleticism and relief pitching more than anything else. But you can’t have watched the Royals’ rise without believing the other stuff had a part in it, too. The resiliency in the comebacks, the consistent performance in the biggest moments.

    The Royals had a parade because of these things, the team welcoming in record attendance and interest.

    Shouldn’t the players be rewarded, too?

    Do you buy that? Even a little? How do you value it? And how do you value the stat line you expect Hosmer to put up? Rolling it all together, just how much will he be worth on the open market? (App users can click here for the poll.)

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dayton Moore Unlikely To Leave Royals For Braves]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104651 2017-10-14T05:23:19Z 2017-10-13T00:21:27Z Within his latest AL Notes column, FanRag’s Jon Heyman writes that Royals GM Dayton Moore doesn’t appear to be going anywhere despite rumors about him possibly taking over the Braves’ front office. Moore, who cut his teeth in the front office world as a Braves exec, has been an oft-rumored replacement for John Coppolella in Atlanta following his resignation as general manager.

    In other Royals news, the team is planning to give a qualifying offer to center fielder Lorenzo Cain, though the team hasn’t firmly decided on that option just yet, per Heyman. It seems like a no-brainer in my view. Despite the fact that Cain will be 32 next season, he hit .300/.363/.440 season at the plate with15 homers and swiped 26 bases while playing elite center-field defense in 2017. The Royals undoubtedly expect Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to reject QOs, so the minimal risk of Cain accepting would hardly put an exorbitant strain on payroll, though it’d limit their maneuverability for the remainder of the winter. Cain should be able to shatter that mark even with draft compensation attached to him. Heyman also notes that hitting coach Dale Sveum will now be the team’s bench coach, replacing the departed Don Wakamatsu. As such, the Royals are on the hunt for a new pitching coach and a new hitting coach to step into Sveum’s spot.

    • The Braves were leaning toward a managerial change before last week’s scandal with now-former GM John Coppolella, Heyman reports. Internal candidates Bo Porter and Ron Washington, both former big league managers, were the leading candidates to take over the dugout, and Heyman writes that one of the two would “likely” have been handed that job. Instead, Brian Snitker will keep his post. Meanwhile, with Moore likely to remain loyal to the Royals, some candidates that are “in the mix,” per Heyman, include former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, former Marlins general manager Dan Jennings and current Nationals assistant GM Doug Harris.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Pedro Grifol A Candidate To Become Tigers' Manager]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104480 2017-10-09T16:05:23Z 2017-10-09T15:55:51Z
  • Royals catching instructor Pedro Grifol is an early candidate to become the Tigers’ next manager, Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweets. Grifol has served in that position since 2014. He also has experience as a major league hitting coach (Royals, 2013-14) and a minor league manager (with low-level Mariners affiliates from 2003-05 and in 2012)
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Missouri Notes: Royals, Cardinals, Hosmer]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104397 2017-10-08T15:19:07Z 2017-10-08T15:19:07Z Here’s the latest baseball news from the Show Me State…

    • Of all the Royals’ big free agents this winter, Eric Hosmer seems to be the team’s top priority, and Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star looks at what would need to happen for the team to re-sign the star first baseman.  In short, Hosmer’s market would need to be much softer than expected, which would allow the Royals to stay in the bidding — the scenario would be akin to how K.C. was able to bring back another homegrown star in Alex Gordon two years ago.  Realistically, the Royals need both Hosmer to find a thin market and for him to be willing to accept a slight discount on his asking price, and “even internally, club officials acknowledge this is unlikely,” Mellinger writes.
    • Should Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas all leave in free agency, the club “would effectively be admitting a rebuild” by having to rely on internal options or lower-tier free agents to fill the holes, Mellinger notes.  On the other hand, GM Dayton Moore “would never commit to a virtual tank” in the fashion of the Astros, Cubs, or White Sox.  Instead, Mellinger suggests that the Royals could try to stay competitive enough in 2018 to take advantage of a weakened AL Central, such as how the Twins gained a surprise wild card berth this season.
    • If the Royals are hoping for a cooler market for Hosmer, they could be helped by the fact that so many big-market teams are already set at first base, ESPN’s Buster Olney observes in his latest subscription-only column.  The Red Sox and Yankees could use upgrades at first but are both looking to get under the luxury tax threshold, while the Angels would probably only be in the Hosmer mix if Justin Upton opted out of his deal.  One intriguing scenario Olney floats (based on just his own speculation) is the Cardinals trading Matt Carpenter and signing Hosmer as the everyday first baseman.  This move would, on paper, address the Cards’ wish to be more athletic and better defensively, though it should be noted that the Defensive Runs Saved and UZR/150 metrics have actually presented Hosmer as a below-average defender over the last two seasons.
    • “Whether it’s the bullpen or the lineup, the Cardinals stated goals for 2018 are fortify and simplify,” Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes in an overview of the team’s offseason plans.  The roster was often in flux last season thanks to injuries, some unexpected dropoffs in performance and some new faces earning increased playing time, so the Cardinals are planning on more lineup stability next year.  There hasn’t been any consideration given to a rebuild, as the Cards feel they have both the money and farm system depth to stay competitive while remaking the roster at the same time.
    • Clubhouse issues and a lack of fundamentals plagued the Cards all season, as Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch argues that the team needs to re-commit to its Cardinal Way mantra.  Some players were annoyed by a “lackadaisical atmosphere” inside the clubhouse throughout the season, though a players-only dinner arranged by Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright in early August served as a good wakeup call for the team.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Dayton Moore]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104377 2017-10-07T23:10:35Z 2017-10-07T23:10:35Z
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore will only head to Atlanta if the Braves give him complete control, according to Cafardo. That jibes with a previous report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and suggests that president John Hart would have to exit for a Moore-Braves union to come to fruition. Hart isn’t planning on leaving, however, Cafardo reports. Two members of the Nationals’ front office – assistant GM Doug Harris and the previously reported Dan Jennings – as well as ex-Red Sox GM Ben Cherington (now in Toronto) are on Hart’s radar as he seeks a replacement for John Coppolella, Cafardo relays.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Central Notes: Royals, Reds, Jose Ramirez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104343 2017-10-08T01:10:51Z 2017-10-07T16:59:20Z Via Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, Royals GM Dayton Moore details the elements of an uncertain offseason for Kansas City. The organization will go “one of two ways”, according to Moore. The first option is obvious; the club could choose to “gut the team” in a complete teardown, saving money and going for high draft picks. But Moore does detail an ambitious alternative: trying to retain their free agent stars. Everybody assumes that we are just going to just get blown away in free agency, and we don’t have a chance,” he tells Dodd. “They may be right, but I think everybody felt that way about Alex Gordon at the time. That fell back to us. You just never really know.” Indeed, there are rumblings that one of the Royals’ biggest offseason priorities will be to retain star first baseman Eric Hosmer. But with the 2017 Royals’ payroll setting a franchise record for the fifth consecutive year while delivering a losing season, Moore does make one blunt concession. “It’s very clear to us that we need to get younger and more athletic. We’re going to continue with that mindset as we go forward into the future.”

    More from baseball’s central divisions…

    • Ken Rosenthal details the elements of a bittersweet postseason for Reds scouting director Chris Buckley in a piece for The Athletic (subscription required and recommended). Seven players originally signed by the Reds are currently playing October baseball with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, including infielders Didi Gregorius and Justin Turner. While the presence of former Cincinnati signees gives Buckley a clear rooting interest, it also evokes painful memories of the two scouts he lost to cancer in recent years.
    • David Waldstein of the New York Times tells the fascinating story of how superstar infielder Jose Ramirez first came to the Indians. According to Waldstein, Ramon Pena (then an international scout for Cleveland) attended a three-game showcase in the Dominican Republic largely to gawk at invitees Jorge Alfaro and Martin Peguero, but noticed Ramirez playing with surprising confidence and determination. During a subsequent telephone call with a local trainer who represented the players, Pena was focused on trying to sign Alfaro. When he learned that Alfaro was asking for $1.5 million, the conversation shifted to Ramirez. Pena eventually talked the trainer down from $300,000 all the way to $50,000. After an agreement was in place, however, Pena was unable to gather the papers required for Ramirez to play in the United States, so he sat out the 2010 season and instead spent the year working out at the Indians’ facility in Boca Chica. The team managed to get Ramirez’ papers in order in time for the 2011 season, and Ramirez sped through the minor leagues, making his MLB debut just two years later.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[AL Notes: Red Sox, Royals, Buxton, Chris Davis]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104330 2017-10-07T21:42:12Z 2017-10-07T14:35:40Z In a strongly worded piece, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports hammers the Red Sox ownership for being too strict regarding the luxury tax threshold. According to Drellich, many in Boston believed that Edwin Encarnacion would be the replacement for franchise icon David Ortiz. Instead, the Indians got him on a contract that many consider to be a bargain. Meanwhile the Red Sox finished 27th of 30 major league teams in total home runs, and 20th in wOBA. That hasn’t changed in the postseason, as they’ve been outscored by the surging Astros 16-4 so far in the ALDS. Now the Red Sox are in an 0-2 hole heading back to Boston for Game 3, and their offense faces a daunting task in trying to defeat Houston in three straight games. “The Sox’ greatest stumble this year might have been over a pile of cash,” Drellich writes. The article provides a harsh criticism of the Red Sox ownership and is certainly an interesting read.

    More from around the AL…

    • The Baseball America Twitter account took us back in time this morning by tweeting out an article J.J. Cooper wrote about the Royals back in 2011. With Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas all set to hit free agency (among others), it’s fair to wonder whether Kansas City’s window of contention has closed, so it’s certainly fun to take a nostalgic look back at BA’s assessment of a farm system that was stacked with so much talent. The Royals, of course, ended up going to the World Series in both 2014 and 2015, coming away with a title in the latter year.
    • Twins center fielder Byron Buxton left the Wild Card game early with an injury that was initially described as “upper back tightness”. But according to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, Buxton was trying to play through a cracked rib. Berardino’s source tells him that the injury is unlikely to affect Buxton’s offseason training program. Buxton hit .300/.347/.546 with 11 homers and 13 stolen bases in the second half, and is under team control through the 2021 season.
    • The seven-year, $161MM contract given to Chris Davis has been disappointing for Orioles fans so far, Rich Dubroff of pressboxonline.com writes. Indeed, Davis missed significant time in 2017 with an oblique strain and was barely above replacement level when he was in the lineup. Dubroff points out some absolutely horrific stats, such as Davis’ 42.8% strikeout rate and that he went 1-for-53 after reaching an 0-2 count, striking out in 42 of those at-bats. A resurgent Davis would certainly be helpful to a Baltimore club that plans to contend next year, so the O’s will surely be hoping he can return something closer to his 2013 and 2015 production.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[City Of Kansas City Exploring Downtown Ballpark Sites]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104285 2017-10-06T18:59:45Z 2017-10-06T18:59:45Z
  • The Royals’ lease at Kaufman Stadium doesn’t expire until 2030, though the club has been in contact with parties exploring the possibility of a new ballpark in downtown Kansas City, Steve Vockrodt of the Kansas City Star reports.  According to Kevin Uhlich, the team’s senior vice president of business operations, the talks were merely to “touch base” with the project.  “We’re perfectly content where we are, we think it works well.  Thirteen years from now, who knows what the situation is going to be?  I can’t hold anybody back from doing what they’re doing on their side.  We would listen,” Uhlich said.  The city is currently funding a study to examine at least four downtown locations for a potential new park.  Kauffman Stadium is the sixth-oldest stadium in the majors, though it underwent significant renovations within the last decade.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Royals Won't Issue Qualifying Offer To Jason Vargas]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104260 2017-10-06T14:33:13Z 2017-10-06T14:33:13Z
  • In less-surprising qualifying offer news, the Royals are a virtual lock to extend the QO to Lorenzo Cain but aren’t planning to issue one to Jason Vargas.  Tommy John surgery sidelined Vargas for much of his three-year stint in Kansas City, though he was mostly effective (4.16 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 2.31 K/BB rate) over 179 2/3 IP in 2017.  Given that TJ surgery and the fact that Vargas turns 35 in February, he’d seem to be a good candidate to accept a qualifying offer, and the Royals probably don’t want an $18.1MM salary on the books as they embark on a possible rebuild.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Braves' Interest In Dayton Moore]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104241 2017-10-06T03:31:40Z 2017-10-06T02:49:45Z
  • Heyman also reports that Braves chairman John Schuerholz and president of baseball ops John Hart are “said to be at odds” with one another, though Hart firmly denied the notion. “John and I are lifelong friends, and there is mutual baseball respect as well,” Hart tells Heyman. “Nobody totally agrees on every player, staff member, etc. That’s just baseball.” Heyman adds that Schuerholz “would love” to bring Royals GM Dayton Moore on board to run the team’s baseball ops department and groom Schuerholz’s son, Jonathan. The younger Schuerholz is currently the team’s assistant director of player development. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted yesterday that Moore is “more open” to leaving the Royals for the Braves than in the past, though the decision will likely boil down to whether he’s given full authority over the team’s baseball operations department. That’d suggest that Hart sticking around and holding onto the “president” title he’s held for the past few seasons would be a deterrent to hiring Moore.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On John Coppolella, Braves]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103890 2017-10-03T00:22:23Z 2017-10-03T00:22:50Z 7:22pm: Associates of Moore believe he’s likely to leave the Royals for the Braves, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.

    5:42pm: Braves president of baseball operations John Hart spoke to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other reporters Monday about general manager John Coppolella’s resignation, which was a forced exit, O’Brien writes.

    Hart expressed deep disappointment in Coppolella, confirming he committed “an MLB rules violation that has to do with the international marketplace.” Hart also revealed that the league “dug up a number of things that were quite serious, as far as the MLB ruless” in its investigation, one that went back roughly two years, O’Brien tweets. Coppolella’s international violations were merely “the tip of the iceberg,” a source told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN (Twitter link).

    As the Braves move forward, Hart will assume their GM role on a temporary basis, but a couple of potential full-time successors to Coppollela have already emerged in the rumor mill. One possibility is Royals GM Dayton Moore, who started his career in Atlanta in 1994 before eventually heading to Kansas City in 2006. Moore still “has a soft spot” for the Braves, Crasnick notes (Twitter links). Crasnick also points out that with the Royals perhaps entering a rebuild and having an up-and-coming GM prospect in J.J. Picollo, now may be the time for them and Moore to part ways.

    Should the Braves strike out on a potential Moore pursuit, they might turn to Dan Jennings, who “could be a top candidate,” according to O’Brien (on Twitter). Jennings is a special assistant to Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, but he’s better known for his time with the Marlins. The 57-year-old worked as Miami’s GM from 2013-15, and he even served as its interim manager for 124 games in his final season with the club. Jennings ceded the GM position when he shifted to the dugout, an experiment that yielded a 55-69 record and led to his firing after in October 2015.

    [RELATED: Braves News & Rumors On Facebook]

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Coaching/Managerial Notes: Hot Seats, Royals, Scioscia, Snitker]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103854 2017-10-02T19:41:32Z 2017-10-02T19:41:32Z Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic runs down the big league managers that could be on the hot seat (subscription required and strongly recommended). Rosenthal lists Braves skipper Brian Snitker as an immediate candidate and notes that Red Sox skipper John Farrell, too, could be on the hot seat if the Sox are bounced in the ALDS for a second straight season. Farrell was inherited rather than hired by president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. While Orioles owner Peter Angelos isn’t likely to dismiss Buck Showalter, the tension between him and GM Dan Duquette continues to loom large in the organization. Rosenthal also covers several other managers on shaky ground that could find themselves in jeopardy with poor team showings in 2018.

    A bit from MLB’s dugouts around the league…

    • The Royals and pitching coach Dave Eiland reached a mutual agreement to part ways, reports FanRag’s Jon Heyman. The 51-year-old Eiland spent six seasons as the pitching coach for manager Ned Yost in Kansas City, helping the team to consecutive World Series appearances in 2014-15 and, of course, a World Series victory in the latter of those two seasons. He also spent 2008-10 as the Yankees pitching coach, so Eiland’s considerable experience should get him some type of opportunity with another organization, even if the Royals’ pitching staff as a whole underperformed in a disappointing 2017 campaign. Rustin Dodd and Pete Grahoff of the Kansas City Star, meanwhile, report that bench coach Don Wakamatsu, bullpen coach Doug Henry and assistant hitting coach Brian Buchanan are also expected to be dismissed. Kansas City has since announced that Eiland and Wakamatsu will not have their contracts renewed.
    • Angels manager Mike Scioscia will be back with the team in 2018 — the final season of his 10-year contract as skipper of the Halos, tweets Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. Scioscia hopes to manage the Angels beyond the 2018 season, Fletcher notes, but he’s content heading into the final season of his contract without signing an extension. The 58-year-old Scioscia is Major League Baseball’s longest tenured manager, as he’s been skipper of the Angels since the 2000 campaign. The Halos were in contention for the American League’s second Wild Card spot up until the final week of the season despite a slew of injuries that decimated their pitching staff for much of the year.
    • Braves president of baseball operations plans to meet with manager Brian Snitker to discuss his future “as early as today,” tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. The Braves will have a decision on the coaching staff at some point midweek, per Bowman. Notably, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that Hart said today’s sudden resignation of GM John Coppolella in the wake of an MLB investigation isn’t likely to impact the decision one way or another (Twitter links). O’Brien guesses that the option on Snitker will be exercised, though it seems that a formal decision has not yet been made.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Royals Notes: Cain, Duffy]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103784 2017-10-01T16:23:24Z 2017-10-01T16:23:24Z
  • Royals left-hander Danny Duffy will undergo surgery Tuesday to remove “loose bodies” from his elbow, per Dodd (Twitter link). Duffy landed on the disabled list Aug. 27 with an elbow impingement, though he did return in mid-September to make three more starts. In the first season of a five-year, $65MM contract extension, Duffy logged a 3.81 ERA over 146 1/3 innings, to go with 8.0 K/9 against 2.52 BB/9.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Royals Rumors: Hosmer, Cain]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103565 2017-09-29T00:32:17Z 2017-09-29T00:32:17Z Eric Hosmer and a few other big-name Royals are scheduled to hit free agency after the season, but the team is going to make a concerted effort to retain the first baseman, Jon Heyman of FanRag reports. The Royals may offer the Scott Boras client upward of $100MM, which, depending on the exact amount and length, could be a stunning commitment from a franchise that has never given a player more than $72MM (Alex Gordon in 2016). Gordon’s four-year contract has been disastrous thus far, and considering the up-and-down nature of Hosmer’s career, the Royals could be taking a substantial risk in handing him a big-money pact. Although, to the 27-year-old Hosmer’s credit, he has enjoyed an outstanding platform season, having slashed .319/.385/.496 with with 24 home runs in 660 plate appearances.

    [SOURCE LINK]<

    • While the Royals will attempt to keep Hosmer, it seems they’re resigned to losing center fielder Lorenzo Cain in free agency. The Royals aren’t optimistic they’ll be able to re-sign Cain, 32, as they’re bracing for him to land a lucrative contract of at least four years. The Mariners may be a fit for him, insiders have suggested to Heyman, who adds that Seattle will also take a look at first basemen Lucas Duda and Mitch Moreland if they hit the open market in the offseason.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mike Minor Unlikely To Play 2018 Under Mutual Option]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103534 2017-09-28T14:32:55Z 2017-09-28T14:32:55Z
  • The Royals and newly minted closer Mike Minor are interested in continuing their union in 2018, but they’ll have to work out a new contract, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com suggests. While Minor and the Royals have a $10MM mutual option for next season, the team will buy him out for $1.25MM, per Flanagan. A former starter, Minor has returned from back-to-back seasons lost to injury this year to toss 75 2/3 innings out of the Royals’ bullpen and log sterling numbers (2.64 ERA, 10.11 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9), owing in part to improved velocity.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Fond Memories Of Royals' Core]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103454 2017-09-27T14:17:33Z 2017-09-27T14:17:33Z With Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar all hitting free agency, this offseason will mark the end of an era in Royals history.  Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star looks back at those players’ most memorable moments with the team, and as you might expect, those moments line up with the Royals’ postseason runs in 2014 and 2015.  It’s unclear how many of the free agents, if any, will be back in K.C. next season; over 39% of respondents in a recent poll of MLBTR readers felt that Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas will all be playing elsewhere in 2018.  Still, there’s no question that the Royals and their fans enjoyed some wonderful memories with this core group or stars, highlighted by the 2015 World Series title.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Will The Royals Retain Any Of Their Free-Agent Stars?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103387 2017-09-26T05:36:19Z 2017-09-26T02:08:35Z The question isn’t a new one. It has long been observed that three key Royals players — center fielder Lorenzo Cain, first baseman Eric Hosmer, and third baseman Mike Moustakas — would all reach the open market after the 2017 season. Indeed, it seemed at times that the club would get out ahead of the pending departure by dealing one or more of those players, as it did with closer Wade Davis over the winter, though that never came to pass.

    With the Kansas City club all but mathematically eliminated from the postseason, we’re fast approaching the point where the question will no longer be hypothetical. It’s clear that all three players are worthy of receiving and declining qualifying offers, potentially setting the stage for the organization to pick up a nice haul of draft picks as compensation if they depart. Barring a stunning development — the QO decision period will at least provide a window — none will re-up with the Royals before reaching the open market.

    While the expectation long has been that the Royals would require some transition period, it’s tough to guess from the outside just what that might look like. The organization ran a payroll of over $140MM this year and has made clear it can’t do so again. But it already has more than $100MM committed for 2018, with a variety of veteran players — many controlled for the short-term, but a few on longer-term deals — still on the books. Some of those contracts have some value; others don’t. But the mix will make it difficult for the Royals to embark upon a complete and immediate tear-down.

    So, is there still some possibility that Cain, Hosmer, and/or Moustakas could find themselves back in a familiar place next year and beyond? It isn’t as if the club has obvious replacements lined up for the trio. And all have indicated they would like to return, if that proves possible.

    Obviously, the biggest barrier is cost. While K.C. might conceivably welcome back veteran shortstop Alcides Escobar, he likely won’t cost all that much given his ongoing struggles at the plate. The three players under consideration here, though, will surely command over $10MM annually over lengthy terms.

    Cain might be the best of this group and will likely require the lowest total guarantee, mostly because he’s already 31 years old — which will also add to the Royals’ trepidation in paying to keep him. Hosmer has yet to turn 28 and is coming off of his best season in the majors, though he’ll probably be the most expensive and is probably also the easiest of this group to replace (given the glut of older power hitters on the market). Moustakas, 29, might offer something of a middle ground between the others and did just set the organizational record with his 37th dinger, though he won’t be cheap and remains an iffy performer in the on-base department.

    So, how do you see this playing out? (Link for app users.)

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Could Be Limited In Search For Rotation Upgrades]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103361 2017-09-25T16:28:23Z 2017-09-25T16:27:28Z
  • Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star fields a host of Royals questions in his latest mailbag column, with topics ranging from the 2018 rotation, to a potential reunion with Jarrod Dyson, to the possibility of retaining Jason Vargas and the lack of a September call-up for former first-rounder Hunter Dozier. Notably, Dodd suggests that the Royals could head to Spring Training with a rotation consisting of Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Nate Karns, Jake Junis and Jason Hammel, but the team will still be on the lookout for depth additions to join Sam Gaviglio and Eric Skoglund this winter. “Salary constraints,” however, could limit the Royals’ range of targets. Dodd also adds that the Royals still have a strong relationship with righty Luke Hochevar, who missed 2017 while recovering from thoracic outlet surgery, and they’d be interested in a minor league pact to bring him back to the organization.
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Royals Could Attempt To Keep Lorenzo Cain]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103334 2017-09-24T23:25:13Z 2017-09-24T22:46:59Z
  • Cafardo notes the strange story developing in the Dominican Republic, where Raul Mondesi — the longtime big-league outfielder and father of the Royals infielder of the same name — has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of embezzling over $6MM from the city of San Cristobal during his time as mayor there. Mondesi had been involved in Dominican politics since the end of his big-league career in 2005.
  • The Royals could attempt to keep free-agent-to-be Lorenzo Cain this winter, Cafardo writes. At last check, it seemed unlikely the Royals could keep Cain. As Cafardo notes, Cain will turn 32 shortly after the start of the 2018 season. It’s unclear how the significant contract that will likely be required to retain Cain would fit into the Royals’ plans.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Royals Could Use Raul Mondesi In Center Field Next Year]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103308 2017-09-24T03:06:36Z 2017-09-24T03:03:21Z
  • Royals manager Ned Yost tells Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com that the team will consider using the athletic Raul Mondesi in center field next season. Mondesi has only played the middle infield in the majors since debuting last year, but he could help the club fill impending free agent Lorenzo Cain’s void should the standout center fielder depart in the offseason. It may be wishful thinking for the Royals, though, as the 22-year-old Mondesi has batted an ugly .178/.224/.265 in 206 plate appearances in the majors. Mondesi did provide some reason for hope at the Triple-A level this year, however, with a .305/.340/.539 line, 13 home runs and 21 stolen bases across 357 PAs.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Ned Yost Says He’ll Stay With Royals For 2018]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103237 2017-09-23T06:52:27Z 2017-09-23T03:57:43Z Royals skipper Ned Yost stamped out any doubt that may have arisen as to his status for 2018, telling reporters including MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that he is going to return.

    Yost’s deal runs through next year, so the news isn’t much of a surprise. But from the outside, at least, there was perhaps at least some cause to wonder whether the 63-year-old would desire to keep grinding. Kansas City is going to miss the postseason for the second consecutive year, after all, and will see several core players hit the open market at season’s end.

    No matter to Yost, who says he’s well-positioned to “take the flack” for overseeing a roster transition that could come with some frustrations. He seems inclined to take things one year at a time moving forward, but also didn’t exactly commit to retiring at the end of his current contract.

    “Am I going to see this thing through? No. But I want to get a firm footing and firm foundation on the ground so someone else … in two years, whatever it is …[can step in] and get back to where we feel we can compete again.”

    While the team could always decide to go with another manager, that seems quite unlikely. Yost took over the Royals’ dugout in the middle of a dreadful 2010 season, then oversaw two more losing campaigns while the organization transitioned. But Kansas City went on to reel off three consecutive winning seasons from that point, culminating in a 2015 World Series title.

    The K.C. skipper signed his most recent deal after that moment of glory, marking the latest in a string of short-term extensions that have kept him on board for eight seasons thus far. Overall, Yost has led the team to a 624-628 record. While it’s hard to know just what the roster will look like next year, it seems as if the Royals will have a familiar hand writing out the lineup cards and guiding the ship.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Peter Moylan Hopes To Return To Royals]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103168 2017-09-22T23:19:24Z 2017-09-21T18:58:42Z
  • Royals righty Peter Moylan tells Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star that he hopes to return to the organization next year. As Dodd explains, Moylan has been quite dominant against opposing right-handed hitters. He still generates tons of groundballs and throws his sidearm sinker at the same velocity. Given the seeming comfort level between player and team, and K.C.’s need for affordable roster pieces with a challenging offseason coming, a reunion wouldn’t be terribly surprising.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Moore On Decision Not To Sell, Offseason]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103116 2017-09-20T19:52:58Z 2017-09-20T19:52:58Z
  • Royals general manager Dayton Moore tells MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that he’s prepared for many to second-guess the front office’s decision not to sell off short-term pieces at the trade deadline. “It’s a fair question,” said Moore, though he pointed to the Royals’ July surge as rationale for the moves. Indeed, as Flanagan points out, Kansas City was 2.5 games out of the division lead and was in possession of a Wild Card spot on July 30. Moore tells Flanagan that following the current season, the Royals will “do everything we can” to compete for wins in 2018 and for player acquisitions in the offseason. That doesn’t sound like the Royals are planning on any sort of rebuild with much of its core hitting the open market, though Moore likely wouldn’t tip his hand at this point even if that were the direction in which the Royals are leaning.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor Intrigued By Late-Inning Relief Role]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103005 2017-09-18T14:48:13Z 2017-09-18T14:24:57Z Royals lefty Mike Minor struck out the side to end the Indians’ winning streak and pick up his first career save over the weekend, and he tells MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that he’s intrigued by the idea of holding a late-inning relief role moving forward. “I value starting over not knowing when you’re going to pitch,” said Minor, a potential free agent after the season. “But if there’s an opportunity to be an eighth-inning guy or ninth-inning guy, that’d be great.” Minor says that he spoke to Wade Davis about his transition from struggling starter to dominant reliever when the two were teammates last season, and he also pointed to Zach Britton’s similar emergence as one of baseball’s top relief arms. The Royals hold a $10MM mutual option on Minor for the 2018 season, though the 29-year-old’s dominant season could also lead to a return to free agency. In 73 innings, Minor has averaged 10.2 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 with a 43.4 percent ground-ball rate — all of which has resulted in a 2.71 ERA.

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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Rosenthal: Royals' Best Bet Might Be To Extend QOs to Moustakas, Hosmer, Cain]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102890 2017-09-16T20:57:43Z 2017-09-16T20:53:41Z
  • The Royals’ best course with potential free agents Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer might be to extend qualifying offers to all of them, Rosenthal opines. That would at least give them a windfall of draft picks if all three players were to sign big contracts elsewhere. The Royals seem to be running out of time to contend, and the extra draft picks would give them a head start on reloading.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodd On Merrifield's Remarkable Breakout]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102822 2017-09-15T16:22:28Z 2017-09-15T16:14:29Z
  • Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star took an excellent look at the remarkable late blooming of Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield. As Dodd points out, Merrifield is one of just seven players in the past 50 years to debut after his 27th birthday and compile five wins above replacement in his first two seasons. The others on that list were all established stars in other countries before coming to the United States (e.g. Ichiro Suzuki, Jose Abreu, Hideki Matsui). Dodd tracks Merrifield’s minor league career, noting that he was passed on entirely in the Rule 5 Draft along the way. It’s a must-read column that is rife with quotes from GM Dayton Moore, Merrifield’s coaches from his amateur days, several of Merrifield’s teammates and, of course, Merrifield himself. Now 28 years old, Merrifield has broken out with a .285/.324/.463 batting line, 17 homers, 29 steals and quality defense at second base — likely cementing himself in the Royals’ lineup for the 2018 season and beyond.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 9/14/17]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102810 2017-09-15T00:35:05Z 2017-09-15T00:35:05Z Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league…

    • Left-hander Onelki Garcia has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment and been sent outright to the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate, tweets MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. Garcia, 28, made a pair of appearances — one start, one relief outing — with the Royals in what was his first Major League action since 2013, though the results weren’t pretty. In six innings, the southpaw yielded nine earned runs (13.50 ERA) on the strength of a dozen hits and five walks with two strikeouts. Garcia has appeared in just three big league games, though he owns a 4.24 ERA with 9.3 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9 in parts of five minor league seasons.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[2017 Rule 5 Roundup]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102751 2017-09-14T16:14:45Z 2017-09-14T14:15:17Z With just a few weeks left in the season, we have a pretty clear idea of which Rule 5 draft picks will stick with their drafting teams. At this point, having already carried the player this far and with expanded rosters easing any pressures, teams are quite likely to stay the course. Here’s how this season’s Rule 5 group has shaken out thus far:

    Keepers

    It isn’t official yet, but these

    • Miguel Diaz, RHP, kept by Padres (via Twins) from Brewers: As part of the Pads’ unusually bold Rule 5 strategy, the club kept three youngsters this year. Diaz, 22, has managed only a 6.21 ERA with a 31:22 K/BB ratio over 37 2/3 innings. But he is showing a 96 mph heater and will remain with the organization, quite likely heading back to the minors next season to continue his development.
    • Luis Torrens, C, kept by Padres (via Reds) from Yankees: The youthful backstop — he’s just 21 — has struggled badly on offense in limited action. Through 133 plate appearances, he’s slashing just.169/.246/.212 — with just four extra-base hits, none of them home runs.
    • Allen Cordoba, INF, kept by Padres from Cardinals: And then there’s Cordoba, who’s also just 21 years of age. He faded after a hot start at the plate, but on the whole his output — a .209/.284/.304 batting line and four home runs over 215 plate appearances — is fairly impressive given that he had never before played above Rookie ball.
    • Dylan Covey, RHP, kept by White Sox from Athletics: Technically, owing to a DL stint, Covey has only compiled 83 of the minimum 90 days of active roster time required to be kept. But he’s going to make it there before the season is up, meaning that the Sox will be able to hold onto his rights and option him back to the minors in 2018. Covey, 26, has struggled to a 7.90 ERA with 4.9 K/9 against 4.4 BB/9 over 54 2/3 innings, allowing 18 long balls in that span.
    • Stuart Turner, C, kept by Reds from Twins: Turner has seen minimal action, appearing in just 33 games and taking only 77 trips to the plate. And he’s hitting just .141/.184/.268 in that sporadic action. Clearly, though, the Reds have seen enough to believe he’s worth the trouble to hang onto.

    Still In Limbo

    • Kevin Gadea, RHP, selected by Rays from Mariners: Gadea has not pitched at any level this year owing to an elbow injury. He’ll remain with the Tampa Bay organization for the time being, but will still need to be carried on the 40-man roster over the offseason and then on the active roster for at least ninety days for his rights to permanently transfer.
    • Armando Rivero, RHP, selected by Braves from Cubs: It’s the exact same situation for Rivero as for Gadea, though he has had shoulder problems.
    • Josh Rutledge, INF, selected by Red Sox from Rockies: This was not your typical Rule 5 move. Boston snagged the veteran infielder after he signed a minors deal with Colorado. He ended up seeing minimal MLB time owing to injuries and his season ended recently with hip surgery. Rutledge is eligible for arbitration this fall and isn’t likely to be kept on the 40-man roster regardless.
    • Anthony Santander, OF, selected by Orioles from Indians: Since he only made it off of the DL late in the summer, Santander can accrue only 45 days on the active roster. If Baltimore wants to keep him, then, it’ll need to put him on the Opening Day roster next year. Santander has seen minimal playing time thus far, recording two hits in twelve trips to the plate, though he put up impressive numbers on his rehab assignment.

    Kept By Other Means

    • Daniel Stumpf, LHP, signed with Tigers after electing free agency upon return to Royals: This is another unusual situation. As a previous Rule 5 returnee, Stumpf was eligible to elect free agency upon being returned to his original organization. That’s just what happened when Detroit sent him back to Kansas City; the southpaw then turned around and re-signed a MLB deal with the Tigers. He has ended up turning in a rather productive year, posting 32 1/3 innings of 2.78 ERA ball with 8.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 at the major-league level and showing even more impressive numbers during his time at Triple-A.

    Already Returned

    • Tyler Jones, RHP, returned to Yankees by Diamondbacks: Jones has thrown rather well at Triple-A since going back to the New York organization, posting 10.7 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings, though he has also allowed 4.38 earned per nine.
    • Caleb Smith, LHP, returned to Yankees by Brewers: Smith ended up earning a 40-man roster spot and spending some time in the majors after showing quite well as a starter in the minors. But he has been knocked around in his 18 2/3 MLB frames on the year.
    • Justin Haley, RHP, returned to Red Sox by Twins (via Angels): The 26-year-old didn’t stick with Minnesota, allowing a dozen earned runs in 18 innings before being returned to Boston. But he has thrown well since landing back at Triple-A Pawtucket, posting a 2.66 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 44 innings over seven starts.
    • Tyler Webb, LHP, returned to Yankees by Pirates: Webb also gained a 40-man spot with the Yankees after showing some intriguing K/BB numbers at Triple-A. He was ultimately dealt to the Brewers.
    • Aneury Tavarez, OF, returned to Red Sox by Orioles: Tavarez played his way back up to Triple-A upon his return to his former organization, but has hit just .244/.292/.400 in 145 plate appearances there.
    • Glenn Sparkman, RHP, returned to Royals by Blue Jays: Sparkman was bombed in his one MLB appearance and has been limited to just 30 1/3 minor-league frames due to injury.
    • Hoby Milner, LHP, returned to Phillies by Indians: Another player who has risen to the majors with the organization that originally let them leave via the Rule 5, Milner has turned in 24 1/3 frames of 1.85 ERA ball in Philadelphia. Of course, he has also managed just 15 strikeouts against ten walks in that span.
    • Mike Hauschild, RHP, returned to Astros by Rangers: The 27-year-old righty struggled badly in his eight MLB frames. Upon returning to the rotation for Houston’s top affiliate, Hauschild has uncharacteristically struggled with free passes (5.3 per nine).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals Claim Mike Morin, Designate Onelki Garcia]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102656 2017-09-12T22:19:13Z 2017-09-12T17:32:58Z The Royals have claimed righty Mike Morin off waivers from the Angels, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports on Twitter. To create space on the 40-man roster, the club designated southpaw Onelki Garcia for assignment.

    Morin had been designated for assignment recently by the Halos. The native Kansan has struggled through 14 1/3 MLB innings this year, allowing 11 earned runs on 21 hits. But Morin has posted solid strikeout-to-walk ratios (8.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9) in 164 1/3 total frames in the majors over the past four seasons. And he was more effective this year at Triple-A, carrying a 3.20 ERA while also frequently working multiple innings (he compiled 39 1/3 frames in just 22 appearances, including one start).

    For now, Morin will join a bullpen mix that’s already loaded with arms due to September call-ups — assuming, at least, that he’s activated. My calculations show that Morin has likely accumulated around 68 days of MLB service this year — owing, especially, to a DL stint early in the season — after entering the year with 2.110 on his ledger. That would suggest he has already passed three full years of service, which would make him eligible for arbitration this fall.

    As for the 28-year-old Garcia, who spent last year pitching in Mexico, he made only two MLB appearances on the year and has just five total at the game’s highest level. He spent most of the year working at Triple-A, where he posted a 4.75 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 over 85 1/3 innings.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Royals Were Close To Signing Ronald Acuna]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102508 2017-09-10T20:26:38Z 2017-09-10T20:26:38Z
  • Braves youngster Ronald Acuna blossomed into one of the game’s best prospects this season, and Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser (subscription required) outlines how Atlanta was able to sign the talented and surprisingly unheralded outfielder in 2014 for a mere $100K bonus.  Interestingly, Acuna said that he was expecting to sign with the Royals before the Braves upped their offer to that $100K, and thus Acuna simply went with the highest bidder.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Kelvin Herrera, Trade Chip?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102060 2017-09-04T00:25:00Z 2017-09-04T00:25:00Z
  • It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Royals dealt Kelvin Herrera this winter, as the closer is in line for a big salary bump in his last year of arbitration eligibility.  Rosenthal estimates Herrera will earn something in the $7.5-$8MM range in 2018, up from the $5.325MM Herrera earned this season.  Brandon Maurer or Ryan Buchter could take over as Kansas City’s closer if Herrera is dealt.  Herrera drew some trade buzz earlier this season as one of the many bullpen options the Nationals were exploring, and surely he would garner interest this offseason, even if Herrera hasn’t quite been as dominant this season as in recent years.  This all assumes, of course, that Herrera’s current forearm issue doesn’t prove to be anything serious.  With Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer all potential leaving K.C. in free agency this winter, a Herrera trade could further portend the start of a rebuild for the Royals.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Ian Kennedy: Exercising Opt-Out Clause Would Be "Pretty Stupid"]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101869 2017-09-02T13:41:38Z 2017-09-02T13:41:38Z
  • Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy offered a candid assessment of his opt-out clause when speaking with Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. “It would be pretty stupid if I did,” said Kennedy when asked about the possibility of exercising that clause. “You don’t go to the free-agent market pitching how I’ve been. No one is going to want that.” Set to turn 33 in December, Kennedy started the season with a strong April and has had some patches of success in 2017. However, he’s been shelled for 36 runs in his past 36 1/3 innings, allowing 49 hits (nine homers) and 17 walks against 30 strikeouts in that time. His current 5.47 ERA would be the worst full-season mark of his career and all but eliminates the possibility of forgoing the remaining three years and $43MM on his contract. Royals fans will want to check out Dodd’s column in full, as it’s packed with candid quotes from Kennedy and additional insight from manager Ned Yost.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals Claim Sam Gaviglio, Release Neftali Feliz]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101879 2017-09-01T19:55:48Z 2017-09-01T19:51:18Z The Royals have claimed righty Sam Gaviglio off waivers from the Mariners, per an announcement from the Seattle organization. Kansas City, meanwhile, has released veteran hurler Neftali Feliz, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets.

    That move will open a 40-man spot for the M’s as they put together a slate of September call-ups. Gaviglio, 27, debuted this year for Seattle, working to a 4.62 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 over 62 1/3 innings. He was tagged for 15 long balls in that span. Gaviglio did throw better at Triple-A, though, posting a 3.88 ERA across 72 frames in 13 outings.

    As for Feliz, the 29-year-old landed with the Royals after an unsuccessful run with the Brewers earlier this year. He gave K.C. twenty outings of 4.74 ERA ball, averaging 7.6 strikeouts and 3.8 walks per nine. Milwaukee will continue to pay the remainder of the $5.35MM owed to Feliz for the season.

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    14
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Danny Duffy, Dayton Moore On Duffy's DUI Arrest]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101598 2017-08-30T18:46:45Z 2017-08-30T17:53:02Z
  • In the wake of Danny Duffy’s DUI arrest, both the Royals pitcher and team GM Dayton Moore addressed the media (video links via the Kansas City Star). Speaking obliquely of the matter, Duffy apologized for distracting the club and said he would “be better because of it.” He also asked that fans and organization members “continue to have faith in me.” Moore emphasized that he does not yet know the full facts, but said he expects Duffy to “be accountable” for his actions, which he labeled “disappointing” and “regretful.” “We’ll support him, but there’s obviously consequences for actions,” said Moore.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Danny Duffy Reportedly Charged With DUI]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101524 2017-08-29T16:59:02Z 2017-08-29T16:55:21Z 11:55am: Royals general manager Dayton Moore has released a statement on Duffy’s arrest:

    “We are obviously disappointed in the news we have received regarding Danny Duffy’s DUI arrest on Sunday night. Danny was not part of the team traveling back from Cleveland on Sunday because he had returned to Kansas City a day earlier to undergo an MRI examination. We are still in the early stages of gathering the details, but I do know that Danny has always been accountable as a member of this organization and we expect accountability from him as this process moves forward. We obviously do not condone anyone driving while under the influence, but this is now a legal matter and we will allow the process to unfold and cannot comment any further.”

    11:35am: Royals left-hander Danny Duffy was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol on Sunday night, per a report from Sports Radio 810 WHB (citing Overland Park municipal court records). Duffy was not booked into jail, per 41 Action News KSHB.

    Neither the team nor Duffy have released a statement on the matter yet, and details on the arrest are scarce. An arraignment for Duffy has been scheduled on Sept. 19 at 1:00pm CT, when the Royals will be in Toronto for a road matchup with the Blue Jays.

    It’s not clear whether there will be any discipline from the team or the league at this juncture. Duffy was placed on the 10-day disabled list this past Saturday with an impingement in his throwing elbow — his second trip to the DL this season. The 28-year-old is in the first season of a five-year, $65MM contract extension that he signed this past winter and has logged 131 innings with 7.97 K/9, 2.47 BB/9 and a 38.5 percent ground-ball rate en route to a 3.78 ERA.

    The Royals, at 64-66, are 10 games out of first place in the American League Central division but are a more manageable three games back from the second Wild Card slot in the American League.

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    55
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Royals To Place Danny Duffy On 10-Day Disabled List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101305 2017-08-27T14:48:25Z 2017-08-27T14:48:57Z SUNDAY: Manager Ned Yost announced Sunday that Duffy has a “low grade pronator strain,” per Dodd, who notes that the Royals are hopeful he’ll only sit out one start. In a worst-case scenario, Duffy would miss three weeks (Twitter link).

    SATURDAY: The Royals will place left-hander Danny Duffy on the 10-day DL due to a left elbow impingement (Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star was among those to report the news).  Lefty Onelki Garcia’s contract has been purchased from Triple-A in a corresponding roster move, with Bubba Starling going to the 60-day DL to create 40-man roster space, as per MLB.com’s Jeffrey FlanaganEric Skoglund, another southpaw, will fill Duffy’s spot in the rotation and start tomorrow’s game.

    This is the second time Duffy has hit the disabled list this season, as the southpaw previously missed over five weeks due to an oblique strain.  No timetable is yet known for Duffy’s elbow issue, though any time missed is a big setback for a Royals club that is battling for the postseason (entering today 1.5 games behind the Twins for the second wild card spot).

    Duffy has a 3.78 ERA, 3.22 K/BB rate and 7.97 K/9 over 131 innings this season.  While obviously Duffy and K.C. were hoping for better health in the first season of Duffy’s five-year, $65MM extension signed last January, the lefty has been worth 3.1 fWAR this year, already more than the 2.8 fWAR he generated over 179 2/3 IP in his breakout 2016 season.  Duffy is achieving quality results despite losing just under two miles per hour in fastball velocity (down to 92.9mph) from 2016, though he has also thrown his fastball much less than usual while increasing usage of his slider, changeup and curveball.

    Garcia signed a minor league deal with the Royals in the offseason, and he has a 4.75 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and 2.09 K/BB rate over 85 1/3 Triple-A frames this season, holding left-handed hitters to a .653 OPS.  Garcia’s only previous big league experience came in 2013, when he pitched in three games (1 1/3 innings) for the Dodgers.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Herrera Dealing With Elbow Tightness]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101048 2017-08-23T21:11:28Z 2017-08-23T17:17:01Z
  • Royals closer Kelvin Herrera had to leave his appearance last night with what the team is describing as elbow tightness. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports, though, preliminary indications today are that he has avoided a significant injury and may not even require any time off. Herrera has not been his dominant self thus far in 2017, though clearly the Royals are still counting on him as they attempt a postseason push over the next five weeks.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Put Joakim Soria On 10-Day DL With Oblique Strain]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100652 2017-08-18T19:03:59Z 2017-08-18T19:03:59Z The Royals announced Friday that setup man Joakim Soria has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. The move is retroactive to Aug. 16, so Soria can be activated on the 26th of this month, but oblique injuries often require upwards of a month to fully heal. Right-hander Kevin McCarthy is up from Omaha to take Soria’s roster spot.

    The loss of Soria is a notable one for a Royals club that has slipped to 5.5 games back in the AL Central recently but is still just a half game out of the race for the second American League Wild Card spot. Soria has tossed 50 innings with a 3.96 ERA this season, but that mark is massively skewed by a four-run meltdown in his most recent outing — an appearance that lasted just one-third of an inning and sent his 3.26 ERA skyrocketing.

    Soria’s secondary marks are all quite good. In fact, when looking at his K/9 (10.6), BB/9 (2.9), HR/9 (0.18) and ground-ball rate (55.2 percent), there’s a case to be made that Soria is in the midst of one of his most dominant seasons as a Major Leaguer. He’s currently sporting a 2.06 FIP, a 2.91 xFIP and a 2.96 SIERA, all of which suggests that his ERA isn’t exactly representative of the overall quality of his work in 2017.

    With Soria on the shelf, trade deadline pickups Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter could each see their roles increase for the time being. Neither has fared especially well in his new environs, but both relievers have the ability to miss bats in bunches and could help bridge the gap to closer Kelvin Herrera.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[2017 Opt-Out Clause Update]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100314 2017-08-14T20:55:49Z 2017-08-14T19:41:13Z The last look we took at the handful of players with opt-out clauses following the 2017 season was more than a month ago, and a few of their situations may have changed since that early July check-in. Here’s an update on this group of potential free agents…

    [Related: MLBTR Free Agent Power Rankings: August Edition]

    Trending Up

    • Justin Upton, Tigers ($88.5MM from 2018-21): There have been plenty of suggestions that there’s no way Upton will walk away from that contract, but we’re not really sold on that notion. Upton was terrible in his first three months with the Tigers but is hitting .274/.352/.542 (137 wRC+) with 45 homers dating back to July 1, 2016. Over the past calendar year, he’s hitting .281/.366/.571 (148 wRC+) with 40 homers in 631 PAs. He’s been seven to nine runs above average in left field, per UZR and DRS, as well. Upton will play next year at the age of 30 and needs only to feel he can top Hanley Ramirez’s guarantee to opt out. Beyond that, he may simply like the idea of moving to a team that isn’t openly trying to pare back its payroll and retool for the future.
    • Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees ($67MM from 2018-20): Tanaka’s home-run woes are an unequivocally troubling issue, but his numbers since the summer began are encouraging. Since May 26, Tanaka has a 3.99 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 47.6 percent ground-ball rate — good for a 3.12 xFIP and a 3.17 SIERA. The numbers are even better if you look at his past nine starts (3.00 ERA, 65 K, 12 BB, 57 innings). The health concerns are well known. Tanaka had a partial UCL tear in his rookie season but was able to avoid Tommy John, and he’s currently on the DL with what is reportedly some minor shoulder fatigue. The righty has averaged 2.2 HR/9 this year, but he’s also going to be just 29 years old next year. An opt-out looked highly unlikely two months ago but now looks entirely plausible, as long as this latest DL trip proves minor.
    • Welington Castillo, Orioles ($7MM player option): Since last check, Castillo has absolutely raked. He’s batted .308/.345/.500 with four homers and three doubles in his past 84 PAs, and his overall batting line it up to .283/.319/.457 (103 wRC+). Castillo’s framing marks have improved from some of the worst in the league to roughly average (per Baseball Prospectus), and he’s halted an incredible 46 percent of stolen-base attempts against him in 2017. He should be able to top a one-year, $7MM deal with ease this winter.

    Trending Down

    • Greg Holland, Rockies ($15MM player option): Since our last check, Holland has reminded everyone that he is indeed mortal. In his past 11 2/3 frames, he’s coughed up eight runs on a dozen hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts. Six of those runs have come in his past two outings, but as long as that proves to be a blip on the radar, Holland still seems a safe bet to opt out. If he significantly fades in his first year back from Tommy John or lands on the disabled list, though, there’s at least a chance that he takes the option. Assuming he remains healthy, though, Holland will likely look to top Mark Melancon’s four-year, $62MM deal this winter.
    • Johnny Cueto, Giants ($84MM from 2018-21): It’s been almost a month since Cueto last set foot on a Major League mound, as he’s been sidelined with a forearm issue that has significantly clouded his chances of opting out. Reports earlier in the summer suggested that a slow start wasn’t going to deter Cueto from opting out, but a month-long injury scare and an ERA in the upper-4.00s certainly might. Cueto, 32 in February, has a 4.59 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and the second worst ground-ball rate of his career (39.2 percent). FIP, xFIP and SIERA all peg him at 4.41 or worse.

    Unchanged Since Last Check

    • Matt Wieters, Nationals ($10.5MM player option): Wieters wasn’t hitting in early July, and he’s hitting even less now. His defensive reputation limited him to a two-year, $21MM deal with a player option after year one on the 2016-17 open market, and that was coming off a much better offensive season. Wieters seems extremely likely to take the $10.5MM in 2018.
    • Ian Kennedy, Royals ($49MM from 2018-20): Kennedy’s results have improved slightly since the last opt-out update, but it’s hardly enough to make it likely that he’ll opt out of that significant guarantee. Through 120 innings in 2017, Kennedy has averaged 1.65 HR/9, tying a career-worst mark, while both his strikeout and walk rates have gone the wrong direction. He’s also missed a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury, and he’ll turn 33 this December.
    • Wei-Yin Chen, Marlins ($52MM from 2018-20): No change here. Chen has scarcely been able to pitch in 2017 due to a reported partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. He’s reportedly still aiming for a late comeback, but that won’t be enough to give him the earning power to top his remaining guarantee.
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Royals Are Baseball's Most Free-Swinging Team]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100047 2017-08-12T14:49:17Z 2017-08-12T14:48:37Z
  • The Royals swing at more of the pitches they see — 50.9% — than any team, and are on pace to swing at more pitches than any team since at least 2002, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star writes. The approach hasn’t been particularly successful overall — the Royals are currently tied for 12th in the AL in runs scored. Of course, Kansas City’s freest swingers include Salvador Perez (58.5% swing percentage) and Mike Moustakas (56.9%), who are both in the midst of good seasons. “You don’t think we address that all the time?” says Royals manager Ned Yost. “Of course, we do. We talk about being more selective and getting better pitches. But again, these guys are who they are.”
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Royals Place Trevor Cahill On DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99886 2017-08-10T20:39:43Z 2017-08-10T20:04:54Z The Royals have placed right-hander Trevor Cahill on the disabled list with an impingement in his throwing shoulder and recalled fellow righty Kevin McCarthy from Triple-A, tweets Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com.

    [RELATED: Updated Royals Depth Chart]

    Cahill’s injury is the latest and most significant setback during what has been a difficult Royals tenure for the 29-year-old. Kansas City made an aggressive move to acquire Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter in a late-July trade with the Padres, but the success Cahill had in San Diego over the season’s first few months hasn’t transferred to his new setting.

    Cahill has made three starts with the Royals and failed to exceed 4 2/3 frames in any of those outings. Overall, he has tossed 11 innings since the trade and yielded 10 earned runs on 18 hits and nine walks, with just six strikeouts, helping to contribute to the Royals’ post-deadline skid. The club has dropped seven of nine this month to fall to 57-56, yet it’s still just one game out of a wild-card spot in a jam-packed American League race.

    While it’s unclear exactly how long Cahill will be on the shelf, a shoulder impingement typically requires at least a few weeks to recover, and it comes at an especially inopportune time for the free agent-to-be. All the more troubling is that Cahill missed time earlier this season with shoulder issues.

    As they await Cahill’s return, the Royals are likely to turn to righty Jake Junis, who’s currently in Triple-A, to grab the open spot in their rotation, per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Kelvin Herrera, Gregory Polanco, Alex Colome & Francisco Cervelli Move To Wasserman]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99717 2017-08-08T17:32:53Z 2017-08-08T17:32:53Z Six players have elected to change their agencies, following agent Rafa Nieves in his recent move from Beverly Hills Sports Council to the Wasserman Media Group, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links).

    Among the veterans making the change are a pair of closers — the Royals’ Kelvin Herrera and Alex Colome of the Rays — as well as two Pirates players, outfielder Gregory Polanco and catcher Francisco Cervelli. Two less-experienced players — each of whom has a 40-man spot but is currently at Triple-A — will also move: Athletics righty Frankie Montas and Nationals catcher Pedro Severino.

    Of these players, it seems that Herrera’s situation is most interesting. The 27-year-old will be eligible for free agency one final time over the winter. He’s earning $5.325MM currently and will look to build upon that figure before hitting the open market.

    Herrera’s case will be an interesting one to track, as he has slipped to a 4.19 ERA this year but has also already posted 43 strikeouts and has served as Kansas City’s full-time closer. With 24 saves in the bank — double last year’s tally — Herrera should be well-positioned to argue for a hefty raise, especially if he can drive down the earned run average before the end of the season.

    Also slated for arbitration is Colome, who’ll go through the process for the first time. He, too, hasn’t been quite as dominant this year as he was last. But he’ll bring a loaded resume to the table with 37 saves in the bank from last year and a league-leading 33 added already in 2017. As things stand, Colome has a career 3.16 ERA and has also accumulated more innings than a typical closer (256 2/3) since he also has 19 MLB starts on his ledger.

    As for the two Bucs regulars, they’re playing under long-term contracts. Polanco is under team control all the way through 2023, while Cervelli is locked up through 2019 under the extension he signed last year. Both Montas and Severino have seen the majors on multiple occasions, but neither has accumulated significant service time to date. The pair of 24-year-old Dominicans are still a fair ways away from possible arbitration eligibility.

    As always, you can find the most up-to-date agency information in MLBTR’s database.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Royals Place Salvador Perez On DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99579 2017-08-06T16:42:06Z 2017-08-06T15:02:48Z The Royals have placed catcher Salvador Perez on the disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, with an intercostal strain, tweets Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. The team has recalled fellow backstop Cam Gallagher from Triple-A to take Perez’s place.

    [RELATED: Updated Royals Depth Chart]

    After Perez suffered the injury Friday, manager Ned Yost suggested that he could miss up to four weeks in a worst-case scenario, according to Wilson Alexander of MLB.com. That would cost Perez the rest of August and remove a linchpin from a Kansas City club that’s firmly in the American League playoff race. The Royals, trying to take advantage of what could be their championship-winning core’s last ride, own a 56-52 record that’s good enough for a one-game lead on the AL’s second wild-card spot. They also have a shot to claim the AL Central from the Indians, who hold a three-game advantage over the Royals.

    The Royals’ success this year has come thanks in no small part to Perez, long one of their heart-and-soul players. Specifically, the 27-year-old’s bat has been a boon to the Royals’ cause in 2017. Perez has belted a career-high-tying 21 home runs and posted a personal-best .232 ISO across 391 plate appearances, contributing to a terrific .278/.308/.510 line. He hasn’t been nearly as excellent defensively, however, having continued a careerlong trend of notching minus pitch-framing marks (per Baseball Prospectus). Additionally, Perez has thrown out would-be base stealers at only a slightly above-average clip (29 percent, compared to a league mean of 27 percent), after nailing runners a league-high 48 percent of the time in 2016.

    As they continue vying for  a playoff berth, the Royals will trudge on with Drew Butera and Gallagher as their options behind the plate. No one would confuse the light-hitting Butera for Perez, though, while Gallagher had never cracked the majors until Sunday. A second-round pick in 2011, the 24-year-old Gallagher reached Triple-A for the first time this season and hit .294/.339/.408 in 259 PAs before his promotion.

    If the Royals aren’t content with Butera and Gallagher, it’s possible they’ll look to the August waiver market for help behind the plate. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams noted this week, veteran catchers Kurt Suzuki (Braves), Nick Hundley (Giants) and A.J. Ellis (Marlins) could move before the month’s out.

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