Kansas City Royals – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-12-11T10:20:27Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals To Sign Billy Hamilton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139831 2018-12-11T01:58:37Z 2018-12-11T01:58:56Z 7:58pm: Hamilton and the Royals have agreed to the deal, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter).

11:02am: Saying that Hamilton’s defensive abilities make for a good fit at spacious Kauffman Stadium, Royals GM Dayton Moore confirmed that the club is down the line in talks with the free agent in an interview with MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link).

It’s a $5.25MM deal that includes up to $1MM in available incentives, per Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

9:57am: The Royals are “close” to striking a deal with free agent outfielder Billy Hamilton, according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic (via Twitter). Terms of the prospective agreement are not yet known.

This potential match was reported recently and seems to have continued to progress over recent days. Hamilton, 28, was recently non-tendered by the Reds. He had projected to take home a $5.9MM salary in arbitration, a price tag deemed too steep by his longtime organization.

For the Royals, Hamilton would become the second player added under similar circumstances. The organization just nabbed infielder/outfielder Chris Owings after he was cut loose by the Diamondbacks. It seems the Kansas City club is willing to place some low-priced value bets on younger players whose time ran out with other teams.

Hamilton, certainly, is an interesting asset for any organization. Though the switch-hitter has never done much with the bat, especially against left-handed pitching, he’s an elite defender and baserunner. His skillset could benefit the Royals’ uncertain pitching staff while potentially leaving the team with a marketable mid-season trade piece.

It stands to reason that adding Hamilton would push out one of the Royals’ existing left-handed-hitting outfielders. Unless there’s a taker for the remainder of Alex Gordon’s contract, or the K.C. club does not wish to extend the audition of Brett Phillips, it could be that Brian Goodwin will ultimately be nudged out of the roster picture. The right-handed-hitting Jorge Soler is also a factor in the mix, though he could see time in the DH slot as well.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[The Orioles’ Managerial Search]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139078 2018-12-11T01:32:35Z 2018-12-11T01:32:30Z Two weeks after tabbing Mike Elias as their new GM, the Orioles are finally making reported progress on hiring a manager. Baltimore parted with previous skipper Buck Showalter nearly two months ago, but the slow-moving GM search that eventually led the team to Elias has left it as the majors’ last club without a manager. Appointing Showalter’s successor will be one of the first noteworthy decisions Elias makes atop the Orioles’ front office, but given that the O’s are in the early stages of a full rebuild, win-loss record certainly won’t be the main focus when judging their manager in 2019.

Here’s a look at where the Orioles’ search stands thus far:

Latest Updates (Dec.10)

  • Speaking with MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko (Twitter links) and other reporters today, Elias said that he won’t be meeting with any more candidates beyond the six initial names, and there may not be a second round of interviews.  Elias said he hopes to have the new manager in place before the end of the month.
  • Former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta is another candidate for the Orioles’ job, according to Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman (via Twitter).  Acta oversaw rebuilding efforts in his previous two managerial jobs, leading to an unimpressive 372-518 record but doing little to harm Acta’s reputation as an analytically-open manager who works well with young players.  Acta has worked as the Mariners’ third base coach for the last three seasons.
  • Astros bench coach Joe Espada won’t be interviewing for the Orioles’ job, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports.  Espada was a popular candidate for managerial openings this offseason, and his past connection with Elias in Houston made him an interesting fit for the O’s on paper.

Previous Updates

  • Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond has interviewed for the job, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).  Redmond posted a 155-207 record as the Marlins’ skipper from 2013 to May 2015, shepherding the team through one of its many rebuilding periods and then getting fired after a slow start in 2015, as then-owner Jeffrey Loria had playoff aspirations after adding talent that winter.  Redmond has been Colorado’s bench coach for the last two seasons, and he was also mentioned as a candidate for managerial openings with the Tigers and Phillies last offseason.
  • The Orioles will interview at least six candidates in person, including Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde and Royals catching/quality control coach Pedro Grifol, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. The 54-year-old Hale has previous managerial experience, which the O’s are thought to prefer, according to Rosenthal, though he suggests it isn’t a dealbreaker. A former major league infielder, Hale managed the Diamondbacks to a combined 148-176 mark from 2015-16. Hale has since served on the staffs of the A’s and Nats, and he drew managerial interest from the Phillies and Mets a year ago.
  • Hyde, 45, was on the radars of the Blue Jays, Twins and Angels when they were seeking managers earlier in the fall. He comes with plenty of coaching experience, having worked as a minor league manager with the Marlins from 2005-09 before functioning as their bench coach from 2010-12. Hyde has been on the Cubs’ coaching staff since 2013.
  • The 49-year-old Grifol has been in his present position since 2014. The former minor league catcher brings experience as a major league hitting coach (Royals, 2013-14) and a minors manager (with low-level Mariners affiliates from 2003-05 and in 2012).
  • Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell will interview, Peter Gammons reports. He’s the son of former major league manager Buddy Bell and brother of rookie Reds skipper David Bell. Mike Bell, 43, garnered interest from the Rangers during their managerial search after the season. He’s a former professional third baseman who, prior to landing his current gig, coached and managed in the Diamondbacks’ minor league system.
Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Infield Notes: Machado, Realmuto, LeMahieu, Merrifield, Hernandez, Arenado]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139895 2018-12-10T22:04:25Z 2018-12-10T22:04:25Z Superstar free agent Manny Machado will not meet with teams in Las Vegas, it seems, preferring instead to visit suitors at their home parks, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). That would seem to suggest that his market won’t take off over the week to come, though surely there’ll be relevant developments. If Machado is indeed plotting a course of courtship that will take place over the coming weeks, then perhaps there’s more room for earlier developments in other segments of the infield market …

  • Behind the dish, the Marlins’ asking price on J.T. Realmuto may be creeping back down to more realistic levels, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. The organization has long been said to be asking for an enormous return in exchange for two seasons of the game’s best backstop, which truthfully isn’t an unreasonable starting point. Still, as Sherman notes, the club will ultimately likely be forced to take what the offer will give. For the Mets, pursuit of Realmuto is still seen “as a long shot,” Sherman adds on Twitter. And the Phillies are presently focused on other pursuits, per Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter), such that they haven’t engaged with their division rivals in Miami regarding Realmuto in a few weeks’ time.
  • The Athletics have reached out to second baseman DJ LeMahieu as they continue to explore the market for second basemen, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. That’s not an indication that the Oakland org is out on Jed Lowrie, so much as the latest sign that a reunion is anything but inevitable with both parties seeing other people. LeMahieu himself likely isn’t the only alternative being considered, Slusser notes; she goes on to explore some of the other opportunities that could be pondered by the A’s brass.
  • In a boon to free agents and teams with potential trade chips at second base, Royals GM Dayton Moore tells MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (Twitter link) that he is not getting as many questions of late about Whit Merrifield. That’s not because of a lack of interest, though, so much as the fact that the Royals have “pretty much made it clear” they will hold onto the late-blooming star. Merrifield will not even be eligible for arbitration until 2020, though he’ll turn thirty before the start of the 2019 season. From an outside perspective, this seems an ideal time to market a player who’d draw wide interest given his excellent recent production, defensive flexibility, and cheap price tag. But the Kansas City org seems determined to try to build around some of its preexisting roster assets.
  • The Phillies are not finding initial success at generating interest in second baseman Cesar Hernandez, according to Jayson Stark of The Athletic (Twitter link). With a robust slate of free agents at the position and a seemingly increasing list of available trade candidates, there’s some imbalance between the supply and demand. Hernandez, 28, has been a fairly steady performer, but he did fall off a bit with the bat last year and is increasingly expensive at a projected $8.9MM arb salary in his second to last run through the process.
  • Rockies GM Jeff Bridich discussed his team’s long-term relationship possibilities with third baseman Nolan Arenado in an inteview on MLB Network (h/t Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, Twitter links). Bridich says the club can afford to carry a $200MM+ promise to Arenado, citing a “responsible growth” plan for payroll. Of course, that number may only be scratching the surface of what Arenado could command in a hypothetical post-2019 free agency, so it’s far from clear just yet whether the club will be both willing and able to line up on a new deal to keep him from the open market. Otherwise, unsurprisingly, Bridich acknowledged that the Rox are interested in improving not only in the outfield but also at first base to boost a sagging offense.
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Royals To Be "Active" In Rule 5 Draft]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139720 2018-12-09T18:52:35Z 2018-12-09T18:52:35Z
  • The Royals expect to be “active” in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, according to general manager Dayton Moore (via Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com). Kansas City, which is set to pick second in the draft, is only a year removed from striking gold on a Rule 5 selection. During the 2017 edition, the Royals acquired right-hander Brad Keller, whom the Reds chose fifth overall. The 23-year-old ended up turning in a surprisingly strong season in KC, where he pitched to a 3.08 ERA/3.55 FIP with 2.5 fWAR in 140 1/3 innings.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Interested In Billy Hamilton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139536 2018-12-07T01:04:07Z 2018-12-07T00:47:56Z The Royals are “looking hard” at recently non-tendered center fielder Billy Hamilton, tweets Rustin Dodd of The Athletic. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan suggests interest on the Royals’ behalf in a column as well, noting that while GM Dayton Moore wouldn’t comment on any intrigue, there’s a general sense among Royals execs that the fleet-footed Hamilton’s skill set would fit Kauffman Stadium well.

    Hamilton, who turned 28 in September, was arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter and had been projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $5.9MM in 2019 before the Reds cut him loose last week. While he’s long been an offensive liability, Hamilton is among the game’s elite defensive outfielders and perhaps the best baserunner in the game, having swiped 50+ bases each season from 2014-17 and another 34 last year. Over the past three seasons, Hamilton has also been worth 28 Defensive Runs Saved, notched a 26.5 Ultimate Zone Rating and, per Statcast, converted a staggering 52 outs more than could be expected of an average defensive outfielder (based on Statcast’s catch probability data).

    None of that was enough to outweight Hamilton’s anemic bat, however, it seems. The switch-hitter has posted a sub-.300 OBP in four of his five full Major League seasons, and while he showed some strides at the plate in 2016, he followed up that year’s .321 OBP with a pair of seasons in which he mustered a combined .242/.299/.331 batting line. Clearly, moving from the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park to the cavernous Kauffman Stadium won’t do his virtually nonexistent power numbers any favors, but there are few in the game better suited than Hamilton to cover all of the ground in Kansas City’s expansive outfield.

    At present, Kansas City’s outfield will feature Alex Gordon in left field in the final season of a four-year, $72MM contract. The other two spots are less certain, with Brett Phillips, Brian GoodwinJorge Bonifacio and newly signed Chris Owings among the options to fill them. Designated hitter Jorge Soler, too, could see occasional time in right field. While that group is riddled with offensive question marks, and Hamilton would only bring more of the same, it’s also true that an alignment of Gordon, Hamilton and Phillips would be a superlative defensive unit. Adding Hamilton to a lineup that already features Whit Merrifield, he of consecutive AL stolen base crowns, and young speedster Adalberto Mondesi would surely serve to frustrate opposing pitchers and catchers as the trio ran amok on the basepaths, too.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals Sign Chris Owings]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139381 2018-12-05T21:22:58Z 2018-12-05T21:15:43Z The Royals have added some versatility to both their infield and outfield mixes, announcing the signing of former D-backs utility man Chris Owings to a one-year contract for the 2019 season. Owings, a client of ACES, will reportedly receive a $3MM guarantee and can earn another $500K worth of incentives.

    Chris Owings | Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

    On the surface, this seems to be quite a sensible match for all involved. Owings, 27, is a nice bounceback candidate who could see action all over the field in Kansas City. He was recently non-tendered by the Diamondbacks, who elected not to pay him a projected $3.6MM. As Owings has already topped five years of MLB service, the Royals won’t have any future control rights to look forward to. He’ll once again be a free agent next winter.

    Owings has spent most of his career playing up the middle in the infield, though he also has spent plenty of time in the outfield (right and center, primarily) and has logged some innings at third base. Unless he’s offered a chance to earn regular time at the hot corner, or a trade creates space elsewhere, odds are he’ll be tasked with moving around quite a bit in Kansas City.

    The organization is slated to cover most of its middle-infield innings with Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield. Owings can support that middle infield pairing while buttressing the Royals’ roster at the other spots where he has experience. The Royals third base situation remains largely unresolved at present. Meanwhile, K.C.’s three top outfielders (Alex Gordon, Brian Goodwin, Brett Phillips) all hit from the left side, making Owings a natural platoon match (though he has mostly neutral splits in his career).

    The defensive flexibility is obviously nice, particularly since Owings has graded well at second and fantastically in the outfield. He’s not exactly a defensive-metric darling at short, but he can clearly handle that spot as well.

    All said, there should be plenty of opportunity for Owings — supposing, at least, that he can turn things around with the bat. While he has at times shown an ability to hit at or at least near the league-average rate, Owings is coming off of a dreadful 2018 campaign in which he slashed just .206/.272/.302 with four home runs and 11 steals over 309 plate appearances.

    To be sure, Owings was likely somewhat unfortunate to post a .265 batting average on balls in play last year. But he didn’t exactly knock the socks off of Statcast’s fancy machinery, with his batted-ball profile spitting out only a .281 xwOBA. That did land well above his .251 xOBA, but it also represented the fourth-straight season in which Owings fell below .300 in xwOBA.

    It’s tough to find much to love about Owings’s recent track record offensively. His walk rate did tick up to a personal-high 7.8%, but he also struck out at a 24.3% rate. Owings’s in-zone contact rate fell to a personal-low 85.9%. Meanwhile, he put the ball in the air much more than ever before (38.3% FB rate) without the dingers to show for it (5.1% HR/FB).

    Of course, the Royals won’t need Owings to produce even at a league-average rate to see a return on this contract. If he can return to being a slightly below-average bat, Owings will meet the loftiest realistic expectations of his new organization.

    Robert Murray of The Athletic first reported the agreement (via Twitter). Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter link) and Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com (Twitter link) provided details on the terms.

    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 12/1/18]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139054 2018-12-02T22:07:24Z 2018-12-01T22:44:10Z Keeping track of the latest minor moves from around baseball…

    • Royals right-hander Burch Smith cleared waivers and has been outrighted to the minor leagues, per mlb.com’s transaction page.  The 28-year-old Smith was a once-promising prospect in the Padres system but has been beset by a string of injuries since.  From 2014′-17, the righty made just 13 appearances, all at the minor league level.  In 78 IP last season, the low-slot Smith allowed 15 HR and walked over 4.5 men per nine, though his average fastball velocity had increased nearly a mile and a half per hour since his last MLB stint in 2013 with San Diego.
    • Righty Mark Leiter of the Blue Jays has also been outrighted to Triple-A after clearing waivers, per Mike Wilner of SportsNet 590 The Fan. The 27-year-old Leiter is the son of the former 11-year big leaguer of the same name, and bested long odds as a 22nd round pick to reach the majors in 2017 with Philadelphia. In parts of two major league seasons with Philly and Toronto, Leiter has been a veritable gopher-ball machine, allowing nearly two homers per nine in 114 total IP, to go along with shaky command and an average strikeout rate.
    • Pirates righty Alex McRae, too, was outrighted to the minors after clearing waivers. McRae, 25, had embarked on a steady ascent through the Pirate farm until last year’s six-inning cameo at the MLB level. The 6’2, 220 lb starter, despite a mediocre strikeout rate, does an excellent job limiting free passes and big fly, and should again find a major league opportunity at some point in the future.
    TC Zencka <![CDATA[AL Notes: Royals, Astros, Bauer]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139006 2018-12-01T18:48:07Z 2018-12-01T16:23:30Z In light of yesterday’s Yan Gomes trade, those teams still in need of a backstop for 2019 will be surveying the market with renewed urgency. One guy not likely to be on the move is Salvador Perez. The story has not changed for Salvy and the Royals, whose price for Perez is “so exorbitant no team would meet it,” per the Athletic’s Rustin Dodd (subscription link). While teams around the league would certainly check in on Perez were he to become available, it is unlikely anyone values him as highly as the Royals. The 28-year-old catcher is owed $36MM through 2021 and hasn’t had an OBP over .300 since 2013. His power output has remained consistent, however, and his merits extend behind the field of play, as he is a key presence both for players and for fans, as a leader in the clubhouse and as the one of the last core position players from back-to-back American League pennants. More from the Royals and the rest of the American League…

    • As for other Royals targets, Whit Merrifield is a slightly more achievable trade target, but given his four years of team control, the Royals are unlikely to part with their second baseman either. Lefty Danny Duffy can likely be had, but given his down year (4.88 ERA, 4.1 BB/9) and the over $45MM still on his deal, the Royals are better off keeping him and letting him restore some value in 2019. A quiet offseason looms for the Royals and GM Dayton Moore, who has said previously he expects Kansas City will be better-positioned to be aggressive in the market by 2021.
    • The Astros tendered contracts to ten players before yesterday’s deadline, most of whom were fairly safe bets to return to Houston. Outfielder Jake Marisnick was one on-the-bubble candidate, but he returns for a third season of arbitration eligibility in Houston. Marisnick has struggled at the dish, carrying a career .226/.278/.374 line into 2019, but he is an elite defensive center fielder, a valuable asset for the Astros, who never seem wholly comfortable leaving George Springer full-time in center. Marisnick does have one option remaining*, so Houston can send him down to Triple A without exposing him to waivers. The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan (subscription link) also notes that fellow benchmates Tyler White and Tony Kemp are without options, limiting flexibility for GM Jeff Luhnow. None of the three would net much of a return on the trade market on their own, though all three are cheap and useful enough to be included as a complimentary piece to a larger deal. The Astros do have options in the minor leagues should they deal Marisnick, most notably Myles Straw, who could replace Marisnick as the speed and defense option in center off the bench.
    • Both Kaplan and Fancred’s Jon Heyman suggest the Astros are looking for a primary catching option to top the depth chart ahead of Max Stassi. The Marlins J.T. Realmuto is the dream get, but Houston has thus-far refused to surrender star pitching prospect Forrest Whitley. Heyman notes that they may be willing to part with outfielder Kyle Tucker, a likely must-have for Miami in any package for Realmuto.
    • Heyman also notes that in Cleveland, though most of the trade noise has focused on Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer is actually the most likely of the three to be shipped out. This makes sense with the recent rumblings of extension talks with Carrasco, though there’s nothing close as of yet regarding Bauer. The Indians would love to keep him, but of the three, Bauer’s arbitration eligibility makes him more fiscally volatile than either of Carrasco or Kluber, who are under multi-year contracts. The perfect trade package for the Indians would probably include controllable pieces to augment what they already have in either the outfield or the bullpen, two areas in need of securing this offseason.

    *Original post incorrectly listed Marisnick as having no options remaining (in referencing the Kaplan piece), but he does in fact have one option year left.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals Non-Tender Bubba Starling, Three Others]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138901 2018-12-01T00:33:46Z 2018-12-01T00:33:46Z The Royals have utilized the opportunity of today’s non-tender deadline to drop four players from their MLB roster, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reported on Twitter and the team has now announced. Outfielder Bubba Starling is the most recognizable name who’ll be cut loose; he’s joined by righties Jason Adam and Andres Machado along with first baseman Samir Duenez.

    Notably, per Flanagan, the club anticipates reaching new, minor-league pacts with all four players in short order. They’ll technically become free agents, and can certainly explore interest with other organizations if they wish, but it seems the hope is to retain this group while opening 40-man space.

    Starling, the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft, has failed to develop as hoped and has also faced injury setbacks. Adam coughed up nine home runs and 22 earned in his first 32 1/3 MLB frames in 2018, but did manage to rack up 37 strikeouts. There was a much briefer, two-appearance major-league debut for Machado, but he spent most of the 2018 season turning in marginal numbers in the upper minors. Duenez hit well at Double-A last year, with a .282/.357/.463 slash.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: Thursday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138739 2018-11-30T01:27:32Z 2018-11-30T01:27:44Z With the non-tender deadline looming tomorrow, there figure to be several players agreeing to pre-tender deals to avoid arbitration today. Many players who agree to terms prior to the deadline will be fringe non-tender candidates and, as such, are likelier to sign for less than they’d been projected in order to avoid a non-tender. We’ll keep track of today’s players who are avoiding arbitration in this post (with all referenced projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz)…

    • The Royals announced that they’ve agreed to one-year deals with both Cheslor Cuthbert and Jesse Hahn. Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports (via Twitter) that Cuthbert will earn $850K, while Hahn’s deal contains an $800K base salary. Both were definitive non-tender candidates, as Cuthbert batted just .194/.282/.301 in 117 plate appearances this past season. Hahn, meanwhile, didn’t pitch in 2018 due to a sprained ulnar collateral ligament that ultimately required “primary repair” surgery — a similar, but less invasive alternative to Tommy John surgery that is perhaps familiar to Royals fans after Seth Maness previously underwent the procedure.

    Read more

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Claim Conner Greene, Designate Burch Smith For Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138425 2018-11-26T20:26:40Z 2018-11-26T20:12:12Z The Royals announced that they’ve claimed right-hander Conner Greene off waivers from the Cardinals. He’d been designated for assignment last week. In order to open a spot on the 40-man roster, Kansas City designated righty Burch Smith for assignment.

    Greene, 23, was acquired alongside Dominic Leone in last offseason’s Randal Grichuk trade. The former seventh-round pick’s longstanding control issues didn’t improve in his lone season with the Cards, as Greene walked 63 batters in 88 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. He hasn’t had much success in the minors since the 2016 season, but the Royals will hope that another change of scenery brings about more favorable results in 2019.

    The 28-year-old Smith was one of two Rule 5 picks carried on the roster by the Royals for the entire 2018 season, but his results paled in comparison to those of fellow Rule 5-er Brad Keller. In 78 innings, Smith limped to a 6.92 ERA, and while he averaged nearly a strikeout per inning, he also averaged 4.6 walks per nine innings pitched. Smith’s ability to miss bats has long been intriguing, but his career has been slowed by control issues and injury troubles — most notably Tommy John surgery.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Hire Mike Matheny As Special Advisor]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138195 2018-11-23T19:18:56Z 2018-11-23T19:17:48Z The Royals announced that they’ve hired former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as a special advisor to the team’s player development staff St. Louis fired Matheny in July despite the fact that he was signed through the 2020 season.

    “This is a great opportunity to have Mike become a member of our organization,” said Royals general manager Dayton Moore in a statement announcing the move. “It has always been our policy to hire the best baseball people we can and this is a perfect example of that. Mike has contributed so much to our game as both a player and a manager and has a wealth of knowledge that can only make us better. I’m excited about the possibilities of what he’ll bring to our organization.”

    Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch linked the Royals to Matheny back in August, and several reports since that time have suggested that he could end up with the Kansas City organization in an advisory capacity. He’ll now join Moore and have a bit of a hand in scouting and player development efforts.

    While there’s no firm indication that Matheny will be considered for managerial openings in Kansas City down the line, Goold did note in the aforementioned report that Matheny would like to manage again, and it’s worth noting that current skipper Ned Yost is only signed through the 2019 season. Fancred’s Jon Heyman suggested last month that the 2019 season could be Yost’s final as a manager, and Yost himself has hinted at a similar timeline in the past.

    Certainly, there’ll be speculation about the possibility of Matheny being groomed as a successor to Yost — as was the case with Brad Ausmus after he was hired by the Angels in a similar capacity last winter — though that’s hardly a foregone conclusion. The Reds, for instance, added John Farrell to their front office last offseason, and while he was indeed considered for their managerial vacancy, that post eventually went to David Bell.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Added To The 40-Man Roster]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=137743 2018-11-21T02:32:37Z 2018-11-21T00:15:47Z Tonight marks the deadline for players to be added to their respective organizations’ 40-man rosters. Over the nine hours, there’ll be a flurry of moves, ranging from minor trades (like the one the Indians and Rays made yesterday), waiver claims and players being designated for assignment or outrighted. Each will be made to clear room for players who need protection from this year’s Rule 5 Draft. As a reminder, players who signed at 18 years of age or younger and have five professional seasons are eligible, as are players who signed at 19 or older and have four professional seasons under their belts.

    Here’s a rundown of players who’ve been added to their respective 40-man rosters (which will be updated throughout the day)…

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Trueblood Examines Merrifield's Power Profile]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=137281 2018-11-14T05:49:15Z 2018-11-14T04:59:32Z
  • Matthew Trueblood of Baseball Prospectus takes an interesting look at Whit Merrifield’s offensive profile, noting that while the Royals’ unsung star doesn’t rate especially well in terms of Statcast metrics like average exit velocity and hard-hit rate, some of his shortcomings can arguably be attributed to the pitfalls of averages and extremes. Merrifield ranked well when looking at incidents of a 95+ mph batted ball with a launch angle between 10 and 30 degrees, and when adding plate appearances that resulted in walks to the equation, he ranked more than 200 places higher than he did in bottom-line average exit velocity. It’s a very intriguing read on one of the game’s most underrated players and a player who could likely fetch a fortune on the trade market. Of course, both Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star and Rustin Dodd of The Athletic have each recently penned lengthy examinations on why the Royals aren’t likely to trade Merrifield this winter, even though they look unlikely to contend in a weak AL Central division in the near future.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals Sign Michael Ynoa]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=137230 2018-11-13T22:33:52Z 2018-11-13T22:33:50Z
  • The Royals announced that they’ve signed right-hander Michael Ynoa to a minor league contract. There’s no mention of an invite to Major League Spring Training. Ynoa, now 27, signed a hefty $4.25MM bonus with Oakland as an amateur back in 2008. He never found his footing in the organization, though, and was traded to the White Sox alongside Jeff Samardzija in the deal that brought Marcus Semien to Oakland. Ynoa made his big league debut with the ChiSox in 2016 and pitched to a 4.42 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 5.9 BB/9 in 59 innings of work from 2016-17. He was out of affiliated ball entirely last year and is currently pitching in the Dominican Winter League, where he’s allowed just one run on four hits and four walks with 13 punchouts in 10 1/3 innings.
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