Results tagged ‘ Royals ’

Shields not a fit in Boston?

James Shields is still a free agent and the Red Sox could use a No. 1 starter, but they don’t appear to be a fit at this point. The Sox do not believe the right-hander’s pitching style suits Fenway Park, reports Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.

Shields gets a lot of fly ball outs, which worked well in spacious Kauffman Stadium last season with the Royals. But Fenway Park is a much smaller venue with the Green Monster just 310 feet from the plate.

Boston added two starters this offseason who get more ground balls than fly balls in Justin Masterson and Rick Porcello. That’s an indication of the kind of pitchers the club values.

Shields has a career groundball percentage of 44.7 percent, compared to 52.1 percent for Porcello and 56.6 percent for Masterson. Shields has a groundball-to-flyball ratio of 0.86, versus 1.12 for Porcello and 1.33 for Masterson. In addition, Shields has allowed an average of 25.2 home runs per year, while Porcello averages 18.5 and Masterson 12.9.

In 13 career starts at Fenway Park, Shields is 2-9 with a 5.42 ERA and 11 home runs allowed.

Of course, with one month until Spring Training, things could change and the Sox could become a player for Shields if his asking price drops. He’s reportedly been seeking a five-year deal worth around $125 million. MLB.com columnist Jim Duquette ranks the Red Sox fourth on Shields’ list of potential suitors.

–Austin Laymance

Nori Aoki to the Giants

The Giants and outfielder Nori Aoki have agreed to terms on a one-year contract for 2015, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The deal is worth $4 million plus performance bonuses, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Aoki also has a $700,000 buyout for 2016, reports Heyman.

Aoki, 33, appeared in 132 games for the American League-champion Royals last season and had a .285/.349/.360 slash line. He spent the first two years of his Major League career with the Brewers.

Aoki projects to start alongside Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence in the Giants’ outfield in 2015.

– Austin Laymance

Astros, Braves discussing deal for Gattis

The Astros are reportedly close to acquiring Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis in exchange for a trio of prospects, according to multiple sources — though the deal is not finalized just yet. Mark Bowman of MLB.com adds that the Rangers are also still in the mix, if a deal is not completed with the Astros.

The potential return package from Houston would reportedly include right-handers Michael Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman, as well as third baseman Rio Ruiz, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Foltynewicz is ranked as the Astros’ No. 4 overall prospect according to MLB.com, while Ruiz checks in as the club’s No. 9-ranked prospect.

If a deal is completed, it would mean the Braves have traded away their top two home run hitters from 2014 in Gattis and Justin Upton, who was traded to the Padres last month.

Gattis, who could serve as a catcher, outfielder or designated hitter in Houston, is currently under contract through the 2018 season. The 28-year-old posted a .263/.317/.493 batting line this past season, while hitting 22 home runs in just 108 games. He hit 21 homers over 105 games during his rookie season in 2013.

As for the Astros, they currently have Jason Castro penciled in as their starting catcher. Castro is coming off a disappointing 2014 campaign in which he hit just .222/.286/.366 with 14 home runs, though he did rack up a .276/.350/.485 line with 18 homers — all career-bests — in 2013.

– Paul Casella

Braves still talking to clubs about Gattis

With the start of Spring Training a little less than a month away, the Braves are still talking to a few clubs that had shown interest in Evan Gattis during the early portion of this offseason.  But as of early Wednesday afternoon, it did not appear that a deal was imminent.

If Gattis is traded, his most likely destination would be to the American League, where he could be utilized as both a designated hitter and catcher.  The Astros, Rangers and Royals have been among the clubs that have shown interest this winter.

While the Royals now appear to be out of the mix, the Astros and Rangers might still have some interest in the right-handed power hitter, who has already tallied a pair of 20-homer seasons, despite not playing more than 108 games during either of his first two seasons at the Major League level.

There was a point when the Braves were hoping to land a Major League-ready starting pitcher or outfielder in exchange for Gattis.  But it appears their most recent discussions have provided reason to believe they would be more likely to gain a crop of prospects if they deal the 28-year-old slugger, who will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2018 season.

Gattis is currently slated transition from the catcher’s position to starting left fielder in Atlanta.  While this would create the potential to compile approximately 150 additional plate appearances over the course of the season, it also creates some concern about his limitations with the glove.  He was credited with -10 Defensive Runs Saved while logging just 342 1/3 innings (approximately one-third of a full season) in left field during the 2013 season.

– Mark Bowman

Rafael Furcal’s comeback bid takes a hit

Rafael Furcal’s chances to continue his Major League career have taken a hit. The veteran shortstop has suffered a torn hamstring and will miss the playoffs in the Dominican Winter League, according to a report by ESPN Deportes.

There had been minimal interest in Furcal from Major League clubs this offseason. The Phillies showed some interest after trading Jimmy Rollins, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, and MLB Trade Rumors speculated the Royals could be a potential fit.

Furcal, 37, was limited to nine games with the Marlins in 2014 because of a strained hamstring. He missed the entire 2013 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. His last full season was ’12, when he was an All-Star with the Cardinals and played 121 games.

–Austin Laymance

Royals sign Kris Medlen

The Royals and right-hander Kris Medlen agreed Thursday to a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2017.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Medlen, 29, spent 2014 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery after suffering an elbow injury in Spring Training with the Braves.

Medlen’s lone season as a starter came in 2013, when he blossomed into the one of the game’s best. He was 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA and finished the season going 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA and .197 average against in his final five starts.

He is 34-20 with a 2.95 ERA in 152 career (61 starts).

–Cash Kruth

Ervin Santana signs with Twins

The Twins have agreed to terms with free-agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana on a four-year contract worth $54 million, a source confirmed to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.

The deal will pay Santana $13.5 million each year. It also includes an option for a fifth year that would vest depending on innings pitched, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Santana, 31, was 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA over 31 starts with the Braves in 2014. The right-hander has been dependable throughout his 10-year career and has made at least 30 starts in each of the last five seasons dating back to 2010.

Santana’s decision to turn down a qualifying offer appears to have paid off this time. He declined a $15.3 qualifying offer from the Braves in November. In 2013, he declined a qualifying offer from the Royals and eventually inked a one-year deal with Atlanta during Spring Training in March.

–Austin Laymance

Royals nearing deal with Morales

The Royals appear to have found their replacement for Billy Butler.

Kansas City is closing in on a two-year contract worth $17 million with free-agent first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales, according to multiple reports. The deal was first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

The Royals have been looking for a designated hitter since Butler signed a three-year, $30 million deal with Oakland in November.

Morales is coming off a bit of a down year in 2014, during which he combined to hit .218 with eight home runs and 20 doubles over 98 games between the Twins and Mariners. He missed all of Spring Training after turning down a qualifying offer from Seattle and eventually signed with Minnesota in June, then was dealt to the Mariners in July. In 2013, his last full season, Morales hit .277 with 23 homers, 34 doubles and 80 RBIs.

–Austin Laymance

Rockies among the teams interested in Gee

The Rockies are the latest team to be mentioned as a potential landing spot for Mets right-hander Dillon Gee, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The Rangers, Padres, Twins, Giants, and Royals have all also been linked to Gee.

It’s no secret that Colorado is in pursuit of some much-needed pitching help after its staff suffered numerous injuries this past season en route to compiling a Major League-worst 4.84 ERA. Aside from left-handers Jorge De La Rosa and Tyler Matzek, the Rockies starting rotation is currently filled with question marks.

Former staff ace Jhoulys Chacin (rotator cuff fraying) has an uncertain future, while right-handers Jordan Lyles and Christian Bergman both suffered broken left hands in freak incidents last season. Making matters worse, right-handed prospect Eddie Butler suffered a rotator cuff strain in his big league debut and 2013 first-round pick Jon Gray was hampered by right biceps tendinitis throughout his first full professional season.

The 28-year-old Gee posted a 4.00 ERA over 137 1/3 innings in 22 starts this past season for the Mets, but would come with two more years of arbitration eligibility.

– Paul Casella

Braves getting plenty of calls on J. Upton, Gattis

The Braves are continuing to receive calls from a number of teams regarding both outfielder Justin Upton and catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The report indicates that the Giants, Rangers, Royals and Padres are interested in both players, while the Mariners have been in contact solely about Upton.

Given the apparent market interest, coupled with the Braves’ willingness to move Upton, it seems inevitable that Upton will be moved somewhere this offseason. Though Atlanta already traded away outfielder Jason Heyward earlier this offseason, they were still interested in finding a new home for Upton even before signing fellow outfielder Nick Markakis last week.

The Padres have been closely linked to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, but they could turn their focus toward Upton or Gattis if those talks fall through. The Rangers and Mariners, meanwhile, were interested in Kemp initially, but are reportedly no longer part of those discussions.

– Paul Casella

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 797 other followers