Results tagged ‘ Royals ’

Royals telling teams relief trio is off limits

The Royals were apparently informing teams on Monday night that Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera were not available via trade, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

All three have garnered interest this offseason and there was a growing suspicion that the Royals could try to move at least one member of their vaunted bullpen trio, given their rising salaries. The Royals are denying that’s the case for the time being, though that could always change — especially now that top free agent reliever David Robertson has signed with the White Sox.

Holland is projected to make more than $9 million in arbitration for next season, which would make him the Royals’ second-highest paid player behind only Alex Gordon ($14 million). Kansas City also exercised Davis’ $7 million option for 2015. The Royals’ lone moves so far this offseason — signing Luke Hochevar to a two-year, $10 million deal and Jason Frasor to a $1.8 million contract — have also involved dedicating money to the bullpen.

From a financial standpoint, it would certainly make sense for the Royals at least listen to offers for the three relievers. Whether or not they engage in serious talks regarding any of the three, however, remains to be seen.

– Paul Casella

Royals shopping Infante

The Royals have reportedly made veteran second baseman Omar Infante available via trade, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Infante is coming off a disappoining debut season in Kansas City after signing a four-year deal last offseason worth more than $30 million plus incentives, with a $10 million team option for 2018. He posted a .252/.295/.337 batting line and struggled defensively this past season, a far cry from the .318/.345/.450 line he had posted with the Tigers in 2013.

It’s unclear at this point whether any teams have expressed interest in Infante or what exactly the Royals would be looking for in return. Though Infante’s struggles this past year could make teams hesitant to take on his contract, the Royals still may be able to find a trade partner given the lackluster second baseman alternatives available in free agency.

– Paul Casella

Red Sox extend one-year offer to Masterson

The Red Sox have reportedly extended a one-year offer to free agent right-hander Justin Masterson, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

The Red Sox are pursuing Masterson as a potential starter, not a relief option. That said, they are certainly not alone in their pursuit. It was reported on Monday by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that the Rangers also have an offer in to Masterson, while a number of other teams, including the Marlins, White Sox, Royals, Giants, Cubs, Tigers, Indians and Twins are all known to have interest as well.

Teams are banking on a bounceback year for Masterson, who is coming off a season in which he posted an unsightly 5.88 ERA over 28 injury-hampered outings (25 starts) between the Indians and Cardinals. Now seemingly healthy, teams are hoping to find a bargain with a one- or two-year deal for the 29-year-old righty.

– Paul Casella

Masterson garnering significant interest

Free agent right-hander Justin Masterson has already met with the Red Sox and is expected to hold meetings with the Marlins, White Sox and possibly Cubs during this week’s Winter Meetings, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. At least three other teams — the Royals, Giants and Twins — have displayed varying amounts of interest in Masterson.

Masterson, who will turn 30 next March, is coming off a diastrous, injury-plagued season in which he went 7-9 with an unsightly 5.88 ERA over 28 combined outings (25 starts) between the Indians and Cardinals. The righty, however, was the Indians’ ace in 2013, making his first All-Star appearance while racking up a 14-10 record to go with a 3.45 ERA.

Now seemingly healthy, Masterson could be a legitimate bounceback candidate. It’s with that in mind that teams are hoping to find a bargain with what is likely to be a one- or two-year deal.

Masterson was drafted by the Red Sox in 2006 and broke into the big leagues with Boston in 2008. He pitched one-and-a-half seasons for the Sox before being traded to the Indians at the 2009 Trade Deadline. Given that history, Masterson is familiar with current Cubs executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer from those days together in Boston.

The Cubs, however, have reportedly signed free agent Jason Hammel and remain focused on landing Jon Lester, who’s expected to announce a decision no later than Tuesday. The actual market for Masterson, like any pitcher still on the market, should become more clear once Lester announces his decision.

– Paul Casella

Royals’ trio of relievers garnering significant interest

The Royals remain open to the idea of at least listening to offers for relievers Greg Holland and Wade Davis, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

That report comes on the heels of ESPN’s Jayson Stark reporting that the Royals have also received plenty of interest in Kelvin Herrera, the third piece of the their vaunted bullpen trio. Stark adds that some inquiring teams already view the 24-year-old Herrera as a potential closer.

As for Holland and Davis, their rising salaries make them prime trade candidates for an organization such as the Royals. Holland is projected to make more than $9 million in arbitration for next season, which would make him the Royals’ second-highest paid player behind only Alex Gordon ($14 million). The club also just picked up Davis’ $7 million option for next season.

In addition, the Royals’ lone moves so far this offseason have been to sign reliever Luke Hochevar to a two-year, $10 million deal and fellow reliever Jason Frasor to a $1.8 million contract. Though Herrera is only expected to make approximately $1.5 million in arbitration, that’s still a substantial amount of money already committed to the bullpen.

From a salary standpoint, it makes sense that the Royals would be more interested in fielding offers for Holland and Davis as opposed to Herrera. Regardless, Kansas City will understandably be asking for a significant return for any of the three relievers.

It’s unclear at this point which teams exactly have inquired about the trio, though Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun suggests that the Blue Jays are at least one team that is pursuing Holland. However, it’s likely that a number of teams will enter the mix as the Royals continue to field offers.

Though nothing seems imminent at this point, it’s certainly one of the many situations worth monitoring at this week’s Winter Meetings.

– Paul Casella

Melky Cabrera heading back to Kansas City?

Melky Cabrera is one of the top free-agent outfielders available, so it’s no surprise a number of teams are interested in the former All-Star.

The Royals have been in contact with Cabrera, while the Reds, Mariners, Orioles, White Sox and Blue Jays are also in the mix, according to a report from CBSSports.com.

Cabrera, 30, could help a number of teams offensively. He’s coming off a strong season with Toronto in which he posted a .301/.351/.458 slash line with 16 home runs, 35 doubles and 73 RBIS over 139 games.

The Royals are in need of a bat after the departure of designated hitter Billy Butler in free agency. The club is familiar with Cabrera too, as he spent the 2011 season with Kansas City.

Cabrera is reportedly looking for at least a five-year contract. He could be in line for a deal similar to fellow outfielder Nelson Cruz, who signed with the Mariners this week for four years and $57 million. Cabrera earned $8 million this season.

The Blue Jays could still bring Cabrera back, though. Toronto appears to be all-in this season after signing free-agent catcher Russell Martin and trading for third baseman Josh Donaldson. The club has holes to fill in the outfield after deciding to non-tender John Mayberry Jr. and Andy Dirks on Tuesday.

With the Winter Meetings set to begin next week in San Diego, the market for Cabrera could soon become more clear.

–Austin Laymance

Royals sign Frasor, trade Crow to Marlins

The Royals completed a pair of transactions involving their bullpen on Friday.

Kansas City signed right-hander Jason Frasor to a one-year contract for 2015 with a mutual option for 2016. Hours later, the Royals dealt right-hander Aaron Crow to the Marlins in exchange for Minor League pitchers Brian Flynn and Reid Redman.

Frasor’s deal is worth $1.25 million with a potential $500,000 in performance bonuses for next year, reports MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel. The mutual option for ’16 is for $2 million plus $500,000 in performance bonuses, with a $550,000 buyout. All told, Frasor is guaranteed at least $1.8 million.

Frasor, 37, became an important piece in the bullpen after being acquired from the Rangers in a July trade. He pitched well for Kansas City down the stretch, going 3-0- with a 1.53 ERA. Frasor followed that up with a strong postseason, posting a 1.69 ERA and earning victories in the American League Wild Card game against the A’s and Game 3 of the AL Championship Series against the Orioles.

Frasor’s emergence prompted the Royals to leave Crow off the postseason roster, and now Crow has found a new team with the Marlins.

Crow, 28, was 6-1 with a 4.12 ERA and three saves over 67 relief appearances with the Royals in 2014. He was drafted and developed by Kansas City and was an All-Star in his rookie season of 2011. Since then, his 20 wins are tied for the second-most among AL relievers.

–Austin Laymance

Orioles in the mix for Billy Butler?

The defending American League champion Royals would like to retain designated hitter Billy Butler, despite turning down his $12 million club option.

However, sources say, Butler has received a 3-year, $30 million offer from a team widely believed to be the Orioles. If that’s the case, the Royals will pursue other options including the possibility of not having a dedicated DH and regulars through that spot to give them a little bit of a break.

–Paul Hagen

Disclaimer: No indication Rockies owner can be swayed into dealing Tulo … Still, team has to be prepared if talks occur

We preface everything here with the simple statement, based on conversations with sources inside and outside the Rockies organization:

Owner Dick Monfort has no interest in trading shortstop Troy Tulowitzki at Thursday afternoon’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. The belief that a healthy Rockies club, with an improved rotation and a bullpen overhaul, is a winner next season means odds are against Monfort moving Tulowitzki — signed for extreme riches through 2020 — this offseason.

But the way to not get caught off guard is to be prepared, even if you know nothing may happen.

In the days leading to the Trade Deadline, the Rockies are getting ready for the magic phone call, even if it’s not coming.

The Rockies spent much of Monday studying the Mets organization, looking at current Major Leaguers and prospects, and gauging the abilities of young pitchers who have not reached their arbitration years. Any Mets pitcher who is anyone, whether he is working in Queens – like National League Rookie of the Year candidate Jacob deGrom – or prospects such as righty Noah Syndergaard (No. 1 on the MLB.com Mets Top 20 Prospects list) or Rafael Montero (No. 6), the Rockies are prepared to discuss. If the names of numerous position players come up, the Rockies are prepared.

But here’s the thing. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson on Monday said it is “unlikely” the team will make any deal, and sources throughout the game are saying it’s unlikely anything serious will occur with the Rockies. And, as can’t be stated enough, it’s all fantasy unless Monfort changes his belief that the Rockies will win with Tulowitzki.

But that’s the way these things work. Oh, it’s not only the Mets. We hear the Rockies have beefed up their knowledge on the Cardinals and the Angels – two teams with the money and Major League-ready players to make the Rockies’ baseball people at least listen if they were to call – and a few other teams that may have interest. Speaking of which, since Tulowitzki’s showing up at Yankee Stadium Sunday sparked so many conspiracy theories, we are told the Yankees are not one of the teams that the Rockies believe have players it takes to pull off a Tulowizki deal.

There’s absolutely no indication either team will make that call before the deadline. Nonetheless, the Rockies want to have detailed information if talks ever begin.

Other fronts appear to be quiet, although there is interest.

• We identified the Pirates as a team that is taking a look at Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins, and now we’re told that 5-6 clubs are interested in Hawkins, knowing he can pitch in any situation. But two issues are making it hard to deal the 41-year-old reliever with the ageless right arm:

The Rockies believe his influence is strong enough on young players and young pitchers that they want to keep him around, even though the team is in last place.

The Rockies’ requirement for help at the start of next season, plus pitchers under club control applies to Hawkins. Teams in contention haven’t offered what the Rockies want.

• It’s doubtful the Rockies will move lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who has pitched better at Coors than any pitcher in their history. The Rockies have been listening when clubs inquire, but after it surfaced that the Rockies coveted Orioles righty Kevin Gausman and a whole haul of prospects, no other team’s interest made it to the rumor stage. Expect the Rockies to make the $14 million qualifying offer to De La Rosa, a free agent after this season, and use that as the basis for keeping him.

• While the Rockies have scouted lefty Brett Anderson since his return from a broken left index finger, but there are no active discussions. The Rockies are expected to pick up Anderson’s $12 million option for next season.

– Thomas Harding

2/7 Roundup

And then there were three. With free-agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo agreeing Friday to a two-year deal with the D-backs that includes a club option, the remaining big-name starters on the market are A.J. Burnett, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez.

Like Arroyo, whichever club signs Burnett will not lose a first round pick in this year’s First-Year Player Draft. Santana and Jimenez, on the other hand, don’t fall into that category. So where will Burnett land?

The Pirates could have the inside track, writes MLB.com’s Tom Singer, but the Orioles and Nationals are also in the running. Burnett and his camp have kept their thought process secret thus far, but with Spring Training on the horizon, something is likely to happen soon.

The Phillies appear to be out of the Burnett sweepstakes, and will instead turn their attention to former closer Ryan Madson, who has not pitched since 2011 because of Tommy John surgery and complications following the procedure.

In other Hot Stove news:

• Nelson Cruz remains on the market, and MLB.com’s Mike Bauman examined the potential risks and rewards for clubs looking to sign the outfielder. Cruz would significantly boost any lineup, however, the slugger has a history of injury, will turn 34 in July and served a 50-game PED suspension last year.

• Meanwhile, the A’s locked up outfielder Coco Crisp through at least 2016 with a two-year contract extension that includes a vesting option for 2017. Last year, Crisp became just the 10th player in Oakland history with at least 20 doubles and 20 home runs in a single season.

• The Brewers brought back reliever Francisco Rodriguez, this time on a one-year deal worth at least $3.25 million. In a corresponding roster move, pitcher Donovan Hand was designated for assignment.

• The White Sox also added to their bullpen mix, signing right-hander Mitchell Boggs to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.

• Outfielder Jimmy Paredes was designated for assignment by the Marlins to open a roster spot for infielder Jeff Baker, who agreed to a two-year deal this week.

• The Nationals agreed to terms with veteran reliever Luis Ayala on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Ayala, 36, is one of the few remaining players to have appeared with the Expos.

• The Pirates inked catcher Omir Santos to a Minor League deal that includes an invitation to big league camp.

• First baseman Matt LaPorta and the Orioles agreed to a Minor League contract. LaPorta has not appeared in a Major League game since 2012, when he played 22 games with the Indians.

• Royals pitcher Everett Teaford cleared waivers and remained in the organization with an assignment to Triple-A Omaha. The left-hander has been invited to Major League Spring Training.

-Austin Laymance

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