Results tagged ‘ Royals ’

Padres win the Shields sweepstakes

The Padres have reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with James Shields, taking the top remaining free agent off the market. The club is yet to confirm the signing.

Shields, who was believed to originally be seeking a nine-figure contract, instead settled for a deal that is worth between $72 million and $75 million, a source told’s Corey Brock. The deal, which is pending a physical, also carries a club option for a fifth year.

It’s unclear who the Padres ultimately beat out to sign Shields, but the Cubs and Marlins were both among the teams still linked to Shields over the past week. Whether or not either of those teams — or another team entirely — extended an actual offer to the 33-year-old righty is unknown at this point.

As for the Padres, an argument can be made that they will enter the upcoming season with the most improved roster — on paper, at least. Along with a revamped offense that includes Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers, the Padres now have a rotation that could help them compete in a division that features the defending World Series champion Giants, as well as the reigning division champion Dodgers.

Shields will slot into the top of a rotation that already included Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy. The final spot figures to be filled by one of Brandon Morrow, Robbie Erlin or Odrisamer Despaigne.

— Paul Casella

Marlins among the teams still pursuing Shields

Though it’s unclear whether or not they are a frontrunner in the James Shields sweepstakes, the Marlins at least “remain in talks” to potentially sign the free agent right-hander, according to’s Joe Frisaro.

Shields’ market has started to develop rapidly this week, with FOX Sports’ Jon Heyman even reporting that Shields has “multiple offers in hand” and could sign somewhere by the end of the week. It obviously remains unclear which teams exactly have extended those offers, though reports have suggested that neither the Red Sox nor the Royals are among those suitors.

Along with the Marlins, the Padres and Blue Jays have both been mentioned as potential landing spots. There have also been conflicting reports regarding the Yankees’ interest, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post saying they are “not in play” for Shields and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweeting that he is hearing the Yanks are “now actively pursuing” him.

It should also be noted that Shields apparently prefers to play on the West Coast near his home in San Diego. That report would obviously suggest that the Padres have an advantage in that regard, but it’s unclear whether or not that will factor into Shields’ final decision.

Though there may not be a frontrunenr as of right now, Shields’ situation should continue to come into focus in the coming days.

— Paul Casella

Royals sign Moustakas, avoid arbitration

The Royals have signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year contract for the 2015 season worth $2.64 million, avoiding arbitration, baseball sources confirmed to

The deal is slightly above the midpoint of salary figures filed by Moustakas and the Royals. Moustakas filed for $3.1 million and the club countered with $1.85 million. Moustakas can earn an additional $10,000 if he reaches 525 plate appearances, plus a $50,000 bonus if he is an All-Star.

Moustakas, 26, had a strong postseason for the American League-champion Royals after a bit of a down year. During the regular season, he hit .212 with 15 homers and 21 doubles. He was eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career.

The Royals have five remaining arbitration-eligible players: Lorenzo Cain, Danny Duffy, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland and Eric Hosmer.

–Austin Laymance

Royals monitoring Shields’ situation, unlikely to sign him

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said he is “still monitoring” the market for James Shields, but added that the club is unlikely to sign him, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

Though Shields’ price tag is likely to drop a bit in the near future, if it hasn’t already, the right-hander will likely remain out of the Royals’ price range. Along with the financial limitations, the Royals already have six pitchers set to compete for the five rotation spots in Yordano Ventura, Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, Edinson Volquez, Kris Medlen and Danny Duffy.

The market for Shields is still largely unclear at this point, but the Marlins, Diamondbacks, Padres and Blue Jays are all among the teams that have been linked to him, one way or another, in recent days.

— Paul Casella

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. 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 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 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, 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


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