Newly signed Twins DH Logan Morrison received an offer from his hometown Royals before signing in Minnesota, reports Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The 30-year-old slugger said earlier in the offseason that he’d love to suit up for his hometown club, though that was before Kansas City began selling off pieces and made clear signals of a rebuilding effort. Per Berardino, Morrison’s desire to play for a contending club took priority. Morrison will join the heart of a young Twins lineup on the upswing in hopes of reaching the postseason for the first time in his career, though the questions that permeate the Twins’ rotation still leave Cleveland as a the division favorite.
More from the AL Central…
- The Royals’ signing of Lucas Duda likely pushes Hunter Dozier to Triple-A, writes Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. However, GM Dayton Moore was “adamant” that the addition of Duda won’t serve as any type of long-term roadblock for any of the club’s prospects, instead viewing the signing as a means of adding depth and ensuring that young players such as Dozier are MLB-ready when the reach the Majors. “As I said before, we’re very encouraged about our first-base options going forward,” said Moore. “But it puts us in a position where we don’t have to rush the process. We’ve seen players like Whit Merrifield, we’ve seen players like Paulo Orlando, the importance of getting a lot of at-bats at the Minor League level as they mature, and then when they get to the Major League level and they’re much more productive.”
- Indians infielder Erik Gonzalez left today’s game with an ankle/leg injury and is being further evaluated at the club’s Spring Training complex in Goodyear, Ariz., tweets MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. The versatile 26-year-old is attempting to make the club as a utility infielder, but he’s out of minor league options and would have to be placed on waivers before he could be sent to Triple-A early in the season. As such, any absence figures to complicate the decision and work to the benefit of his primary competition, Giovanny Urshela.
- James Shields won’t make his Spring Training debut with the White Sox until next week, instead continuing to throw in simulated games while he fine-tunes his new delivery, writes Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. Shields dropped down to a three-quarters arm slot late last summer and pitched to a 4.33 ERA over his final 10 outings with the new delivery, Van Schouwen notes. The Sox still owe Shields $10MM of his $21MM salary in the 2018 season — the Padres are on the hook for the rest — so any decent production they can get from Shields after a pair of dismal seasons would be a bonus. Meanwhile, right-hander Nate Jones is set to make his first appearance of the spring on Thursday. It’ll be his first in-game action since undergoing surgery to re-position his ulnar nerve last season. He’s slated to earn $3.95MM this season and can be controlled for roughly $12.5MM through the 2021 season via a series of club options, making him a potential valuable trade chip or long-term asset if he can bounce back from injury.