Kansas City Royals – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-08-22T17:12:08Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Latest On Danny Duffy]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171872 2019-08-21T18:34:50Z 2019-08-21T18:34:50Z
  • Danny Duffyfelt good” after tossing a 65-pitch simulated game on Tuesday, the Royals southpaw told Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star and other reporters.  Depending on how Duffy feels today, K.C. could activate him from the injured list or potentially get him into another sim game before he returns to the active roster.  Since Duffy noted that he only started jogging on Monday and “probably the most I’ve ran was at 80 percent,” he and the team could decide to wait a bit longer before an activation.  Duffy’s IL placement retroactively dates back to August 4, as the veteran left-hander is recovering from a left hamstring strain.
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    George Miller <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/20/19]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171825 2019-08-21T00:36:21Z 2019-08-21T00:36:21Z We’ll use this post to track the latest minor transactions from around baseball…

    • The Royals have agreed to a deal with left-handed pitcher Jake Brentz, per Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. After he was released by the Pirates, he’ll now be assigned to Double-A with his new organization. Brentz, 24, has had success at that level this season, with a solid 0.77 ERA while striking out 13 batters in 11 2/3 innings. However, the jump to Triple-A has given the former 11th-round draft choice this year, as he’s managed just a 5.55 ERA in 27 games. On the bright side, he has maintained good strikeout numbers, averaging 10.3 K’s per nine innings pitched.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Alex Gordon: Royals Or Bust In 2020]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171737 2019-08-20T06:13:09Z 2019-08-20T06:13:09Z Although the White Sox and first baseman Jose Abreu have made their affinity for one another known on many occasions, the club reportedly won’t offer the pending free agent a contract extension this season. Nevertheless, Abreu once again made it clear Monday his mission is to re-sign with the White Sox, as Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times relays. Asked if he’s confident a new deal will come together, Abreu declared: “Of course. Like I said before, if the team doesn’t sign me, I’m going to sign myself here.” Chicago’s on its way to its 11th straight season without a playoff berth, and the club has never even finished .500 since Abreu joined the fray entering 2014. But the 32-year-old explained to Van Schouwen the team’s capable of contending as early as 2020, expressing confidence that “the front office is going to make the move that will be the right move for us to move forward and to get to that final phase of this process.”

    • As with Chicago and Abreu, there’s a great deal of fondness between the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon. General manager Dayton Moore stated back in June he “couldn’t imagine” Gordon playing anywhere else. The soon-to-be 36-year-old took a similar tone over the weekend, telling Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports it’s KC or bust in 2020. “I’m not going to play anywhere else,” Gordon said. “If I play, it’s going to be for the Royals.” If Gordon does continue next season, he and the Royals will have to work out a new arrangement, as the team’s sure to decline its half of a $23MM mutual option in favor of a $4MM buyout.
    • The Cardinals will recall center fielder Harrison Bader from Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday and option outfielder Randy Arozarena, per Stu Durando and Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Manager Mike Shildt noted the Cardinals are “super proud” of Bader for the way he handled himself in the wake of his July 29 demotion. Bader had been a staple in St. Louis’ lineup for most of the year until the club sent him down, but he’s coming back as a result of a dominant offensive showing in the minors. Meanwhile, fellow Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill could start a rehab assignment with Memphis later in the week, according to Durando and Hummel. O’Neill has been on the IL since Aug. 3 with a left wrist strain.
    • High-end Twins pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol leveled up over the weekend, moving from Double-A Pensacola to Triple-A Rochester. The 20-year-old right-hander is now on the doorstep of the majors, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get there this season, GM Thad Levine told Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. On the subject of a possible late-2019 major league call-up for Graterol, Levine said: “That idea may have been a little overstated. We’re not going to force anything. We would only promote someone if we thought he could genuinely contribute, [and that decision] has certainly not been made.” Graterol’s capable of pumping triple-digit heat, which ideally will help make him a prominent piece of the Twins’ bullpen into the fall.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Braves Claim Billy Hamilton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171685 2019-08-19T23:13:13Z 2019-08-19T21:51:50Z The Braves have claimed outfielder Billy Hamilton off waivers from the Royals, per a club announcement. The Atlanta organization will be responsible for the remainder of Hamilton’s $4.25MM salary along with a $1MM buyout on a mutual option.

    It’s a fairly significant price to pay, but understandable under the circumstances. The Braves have lost their two best left-handed-hitting outfield options, Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte, to injuries that may not heal by the end of the season. Lacking the ability to strike a trade for a MLB contract, the club had limited avenues for acquiring a replacement. The

    As we noted when Inciarte’s injury arose, Hamilton is in the same general sub-category of player. Both are speedy, defensive-oriented center fielders who hit from the left side. If Inciarte is something of an archetype, Hamilton is an extreme version of the class. Hamilton has been an exceedingly valuable fielder and baserunner, though he has minimal power and has rarely reached base at palatable rates.

    This year, Hamilton’s bat has sunk even further. At the time of his departure from the K.C. roster, he had produced 305 plate appearances of 44 wRC+ output. He’s still valued as an excellent defender and baserunner, though there has been a bit of erosion in Hamilton’s most notable physical skill. By measure of Statcast, his sprint speed has fallen from a 99+ percentile placement in recent years to the 97.5th percentile this season.

    While Hamilton hasn’t been at his best in 2019, he ought to help shore things up down the stretch. And he’s a fascinating postseason roster piece as a potential late-inning pinch runner and/or defensive replacement. That’s arguably worth a premium to a team that’s all but assured of a postseason appearance. As we discussed in profiling some August waiver claim candidates, the Braves can perhaps afford to splurge on a needed addition given that they were bailed out of the remainder of their obligations to Kevin Gausman.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals Designate Billy Hamilton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171366 2019-08-16T20:31:35Z 2019-08-16T19:39:21Z The Royals have designated outfielder Billy Hamilton for assignment. His active roster spot will go to Brett Phillips, who was recalled from Triple-A.

    Hamilton has long seemed a candidate to change uniforms — ever since he was signed over the offseason, in fact. The rebuilding Kansas City organization inked him for a guaranteed $5.25MM (including a $1MM buyout on a 2020 mutual option) after the Reds non-tendered Hamilton to send him onto the open market.

    The 28-year-old Hamilton has never delivered much with the bat, but he’s finding new lows in 2019. Through 305 plate appearances, he’s slashing a meager .211/.275/.269. It’s hard to carry any player on the roster with that kind of offensive output, which is worse than half the league-average hitter (44 wRC+).

    Baserunning and defense have long allowed Hamilton to make up for his shortcomings at the plate. But Hamilton isn’t running as often or as well when he does get aboard. The renowned base-stealer has only taken 18 bags, while being cut down five times. Statcast identifies a relatively small but still notable reduction in his sprint speed; Fangraphs’ BsR measure identifies him as a very good but not uniquely exceptional overall baserunner. Defensive metrics do remain quite positive, which remains a strong feather in Hamilton’s cap.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with Hamilton. The contract is rather steep for a player that won’t likely feature as more than a 4th or 5th outfielder for a contender. But it’s also fascinating to contemplate what the speedster could do down the stretch and on a postseason roster. If some team decides it really wants to have him, and doesn’t want to risk Hamilton choosing another organization, it’s certainly possible we’ll see a claim.

    Meanwhile, the move will open the door for the Royals to get their first look at Phillips in the majors this year. He is still swinging and missing quite a bit this season at Triple-A, as he has since landing with the Milwaukee organization, but he has ramped his walk rate up to 17.4% while delivering good power numbers (.264 ISO, .505 SLG).

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Royals Sign Nick Howard]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171037 2019-08-14T02:11:08Z 2019-08-14T02:11:08Z
  • The Royals have signed righty Nick Howard to a minors contract, per Roster Roundup. Howard, the 19th overall pick of the Reds in 2014, hasn’t gotten past Double-A ball yet. The 26-year-old owns a 4.22 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 21 1/3 innings at that level.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jorge Soler Will Profit From Offensive Breakout This Winter]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170889 2019-08-12T13:56:46Z 2019-08-12T13:56:46Z Seven years after leaving Cuba for a $30MM guarantee with the Cubs, former star prospect Jorge Soler is enjoying his best major league season yet. Now a member of the Royals, Soler has smashed seven home runs in nine games this month, giving him 35 on the season. Soler, the owner of an overall .259/.344/.555 line in 498 plate appearances, spoke about his 2019 success Sunday, saying (via Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com): “The only thing I have thought about was I was traded for a big-time pitcher and I wanted to live up to those expectations. I didn’t do it at the beginning. But I want to thank the organization for believing in me, for trading for me with and giving up that caliber of a player [in Davis]. There’s a weight off my shoulders now because I’ve finally lived up to those expectations.”

    Then-standout closer Wade Davis was the “big-time pitcher” the Royals traded to the Cubs for Soler in a December 2016 swap. Soler then endured a miserable first year with the Royals, who kept him in the minors most of the season, but has logged quality offensive production since. Consequently, as Flanagan notes, the 27-year-old is sure to opt into arbitration after the season. Doing so will enable Soler to collect a raise over the $4MM salary he’s currently slated to earn in 2020. That’ll be the ninth and final season of his contract.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Release Samir Duenez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170443 2019-08-09T00:07:19Z 2019-08-09T00:04:11Z
  • The Royals released 23-year-old first baseman Samir Duenez from their Triple-A club, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports (via Twitter). Duenez ranked as Kansas City’s No. 13 prospect, per Baseball America, as recently as the 2017-18 offseason. However, he’s endured a miserable season at the plate in 2019, batting a combined .199/.261/.307 in 361 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A. BA’s 2017-18 report on him tabbed him as a potential “impact power bat” with average glovework at first base and below-average speed. That outlook has clearly become more clouded with Duenez’s recent struggles, though as a 23-year-old who posted solid Double-A numbers in 2018 (when he was still rather young for the Texas League), he’ll likely find another opportunity elsewhere.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals To Select Contract Of Nick Dini]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170434 2019-08-08T12:35:08Z 2019-08-08T11:17:11Z The Royals will select the contract of catcher Nick Dini and promote him to the active roster according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). A corresponding move isn’t yet known.

    Dini, who just turned 26, is a former 14th-round draft pick who stands at just 5’8. He has mostly flown under the prospect radar while steadily moving up the ladder. Dini has a history of strong batting averages (.288 career), low strikeout rates (13.6%), and even a bit of speed (29 career steals).

    Given a shot this year at Triple-A, Dini has made the most of his opportunities this season. Even given the Pacific Coast League’s offensive context, he has impressed offensively with a .296/.370/.565 batting line (119 wRC+). Dini has swatted 13 home runs, swiped seven bags, and turned in a strong 29:21 K/BB ratio over 213 plate appearances.

    It seems that Dini will have a chance to turn into a reasonably capable offensive backstop. His defensive acumen isn’t really evident from public reports, though there is video evidence of a nice back pick last spring.

    For the Royals, this is the latest move in a season-long effort to fill in for injured stalwart Salvador Perez. Having traded away Martin Maldonado, the club is cycling through much less established options. Meibrys Viloria and Cam Gallagher have been handling the position of late, but the latter recently came down with an injury that may require a stint on the injured list. The club just acquired Adam Moore, bolstering an organizational depth chart that also includes another player with MLB experience in Andrew Susac.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Royals Acquire Adam Moore From Rangers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170409 2019-08-08T02:16:14Z 2019-08-08T02:14:28Z The Royals have acquired catcher Adam Moore from the Rangers, according to Texas’ executive vice president of communications, John Blake. The Rangers received cash considerations for Moore, who will now report to Triple-A Omaha. Meanwhile, Rangers catcher Tim Federowicz has joined their Triple-A club in Nashville. The Rangers outrighted him over the weekend.

    The Moore swap will go down as a rare August deal in a league that no longer features a waiver trade deadline. The teams were able to swing it because Moore’s on a minor league contract. He inked that pact with the Rangers back in mid-February.

    The 35-year-old Moore has spent the season in Nashville, where he has hit .255/.363/.349 with two home runs in 124 plate appearances. Moore has combined for a more powerful line of .265/.327/.406 with 65 HRs across 2,526 career PA at the minors’ highest level. He has seen major league action in the past with several clubs – including his new team, the Royals, from 2012-13 – but hasn’t totaled more than 20 at-bats in an MLB campaign since 2010. Moore has batted .199/.239/.412 in 312 trips to the plate in the bigs.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Put Danny Duffy On Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170238 2019-08-06T23:50:07Z 2019-08-06T23:50:07Z
  • Left-hander Danny Duffy was placed on the 10-day IL (retroactive to Aug. 4) due to a strained hamstring, the Royals announced. Kansas City has recalled right-hander Jake Newberry from Triple-A Omaha in his place. The 30-year-old Duffy is in the midst of his second straight rough season, having logged a 4.93 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 1.70 HR/9 in 100 1/3 innings of work this season. The five-year, $65MM contract signed by Duffy prior to the 2017 season looked plenty affordable at the time, but he’s been hampered by elbow and shoulder impingements since signing that deal (in addition to this more recent, and minor, hamstring issue).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Braves To Sign Lucas Duda]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170120 2019-08-05T23:43:29Z 2019-08-05T23:41:37Z The Braves have agreed to a minors deal with first baseman Lucas Duda, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). The Roster Roundup Twitter account first connected the sides.

    Duda, 33, will seek to reprise the role he played late last year in Atlanta, when he provided some bench punch in September. He’ll begin by trying to get his swing in form at Triple-A.

    This has been a season to forget so far for the veteran slugger. Given a limited role in Kansas City, Duda failed to earn more opportunities. Ultimately, he limped to a .171/.252/.324 batting line in 119 plate appearances for the Royals. He was cut loose recently when the team couldn’t find a trade taker.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Post-Deadline Outrights: Flynn, De La Cruz, Guerra, Blazek]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=169899 2019-08-04T22:14:45Z 2019-08-04T22:14:30Z In the immediate aftermath of the trade deadline, a handful of clubs cleared 40-man roster space with a series of designations. Many of those players have since cleared waivers, and we’ll round up those minor moves here…

    Latest Moves

    • The Royals announced that southpaw Brian Flynn was outrighted to Triple-A after clearing waivers.  Flynn has a 5.22 ERA over 29 1/3 innings for K.C. this season, a disappointing result for a reliever who posted solid numbers out of the Royals’ bullpen in both 2016 and 2018.

    Earlier Today

    • Cubs minor-league right-hander Oscar de la Cruz has cleared waivers. The 24 year-old has seen his once-lofty prospect status deteriorate due to a combination of injuries, command woes, and a suspension for a masking agent. He’ll remain with the club’s AA affiliate in the Southern League.
    • Nationals right-handers Javy Guerra and Michael Blazek each cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A Fresno. Because each veteran has previously been outrighted, they may elect free agency, but the shaky Washington bullpen could plausibly offer them the best opportunity to return to the big leagues in short order.
    • Giants right-handed reliever Dan Winkler was outrighted. San Francisco acquired him as a salary offset in the Mark Melancon trade but never had any interest in letting him see the field amidst a disappointing 2019 season. Winkler can elect free agency because he has over three years of MLB service.
    • Rockies left-handed relief arm Harrison Musgrave will remain on hand at Triple-A Albuquerque after clearing. The 27 year-old has had little success in 45 MLB games in Colorado over the past two seasons.
    • Diamondbacks right-hander Joey Krehbiel will remain on-hand at Triple-A Reno. Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel named the 26 year-old reliever a prospect to watch thanks to a plus changeup preseason, but he’s had a nightmarish season in the Pacific Coast League.
    • Veteran catcher Tim Federowicz has cleared. The backstop had been playing for the Rangers, but he may elect to catch on elsewhere on a minor-league deal.
    • Phillies corner infielder Mitch Walding has also cleared waivers. He’ll remain in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he’s struggled to make contact in 2019.
    • Eric Stamets, the Indians’ Opening Day shortstop, has cleared as well. The 27 year-old has put up anemic offensive numbers with Triple-A Columbus, where he’ll continue to try to right the ship, over the past two seasons.
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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Royals Claim Jacob Barnes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=169831 2019-08-03T20:12:58Z 2019-08-03T19:47:38Z The Royals have claimed righty Jacob Barnes off waivers from Milwaukee and optioned him to Triple-A Omaha, the team reports.

    Though Barnes did struggle to prevent runs for the Crew this season, it’s a bit of a surprise to see the 29-year-old dangled on waivers given his stellar track record in Milwaukee. In 167 innings for the Crew since his debut in 2016, Barnes posted a very respectable 3.93 ERA/3.68 FIP, numbers which, when park-adjusted for the Brewers’ bandbox of a yard, place him firmly within reliable 7th-inning territory. Barnes’ homer rate, like so many across the league, shot up to a career-worst 1.37 per nine this season, and his command temporarily abandoned him (5.03 BB/9), but it shouldn’t be a lengthy reclamation project for the 6’2 righty.

    There’s an argument to be made that Barnes is already Kansas City’s second-best reliever; his track record, anyway, is second to only longtime starter Ian Kennedy’s in its patchwork unit. His initial report to Omaha, if more than simple posturing, should end quickly: the club needs another quality arm as soon as it can get it.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Release Lucas Duda]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=168687 2019-07-29T16:41:17Z 2019-07-29T16:41:17Z The Royals announced Monday that they’ve requested unconditional release waivers on first baseman/designated hitter Lucas Duda. He’ll be a free agent in 48 hours once he clears.

    Kansas City designated Duda, 33, for assignment over the weekend. He signed a minor league contract with the club in Spring Training after being cut loose from a similar pact he’d signed with the Twins. However, Duda mustered only a .171/.252/.324 batting line with four home runs in 119 trips to the plate in his second stint with the Royals. Given the magnitude of those struggles and the number of alternate options — Ryan O’Hearn, Cheslor Cuthbert and even Frank Schwindel, who was released over Duda early in the year — it’s a bit surprising that Duda lasted on the roster as long as he did.

    Duda’s track record against right-handed pitching could get him a minor league deal elsewhere once he reaches the open market. He’s a lifetime .249/.351/.481 hitter when holding the platoon advantage at the Major League level, and he hit .264/.336/.477 in such situations just last year. But Duda is also strictly a first baseman, if not a pure designated hitter in the eyes of clubs around the league at this point in his career. If he’s to find his way back onto a big league roster, he’ll likely need to head to Triple-A and show some signs of life against minor league opposition in order to earn another look.

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