Tag: royals

Royals Sign Phil Humber

In a fairly under-the-radar move, the Royals have signed former Met Philip Humber to a minor-league deal.

Since leaving the Mets in the Johan Santana trade, Humber has been underwhelming — both in AAA and in brief stints at the Major League level.

Personally I’m a bit sad that Humber hasn’t been able to “put it together”. I’ve liked him ever since we played together at Rice (oh wait, that was PAUL Janish).

Seriously though, I thought Humber had a good mechanics, a nice repertoire of pitches (including a plus curveball), and solid command, but might not have the right personality for New York. The more laid-back Minnesota seemed to be a perfect fit for the quiet Texan. But he’s been very hittable for the past two years while toiling for the Rochester Red Wings, allowing 280 hits and 36 homeruns in 256 innings. His curve remains big-league caliber, but he tends to spot the fastball too high in the zone. It’s surprising that he hasn’t been able to get more sink on the fastball.

Though it’s been a tough go for Humber, his career isn’t yet over. He’ll turn 27 next week, and there’s still time for him to “figure it out”. Maybe it’ll happen in Kansas City.

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Bostick, Wilson Sign with Royals

bostick-mugFormer Mets Adam Bostick, Vance Wilson, and Bruce Chen have signed minor league deals with the Kansas City Royals, with all receiving invitations to spring training.

Both Wilson and Chen made comebacks after Tommy John surgery in 2009, with Chen pitching in 17 games for the Royals and Wilson catching in 59 games for KC’s AA affiliate.

The 26-year-old Bostick was a disappointment for most of his professional career before moving to the bullpen last year. In 39 games split between the B-Mets and Buffalo, he posted a 3.05 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and struck out 63 in 56 innings.

Unfortunately for Bostick, it was a case of “too little, too late”, as the New York Mets were stockpiled with pitching in 2009 — particularly with effective lefthanders coming out of the bullpen — and he was more or less forgotten by the powers-that-be. It would be difficult for even Sandy Koufax to make an impression in an organization that boasts names like Fossum, Takahashi, Switzer, and Misch. And with seasoned veterans such as Elmer Dessens already locked up in Buffalo’s 2010 bullpen, there simply wasn’t any room for a young, inexperienced lefty such as Bostick. Hopefully he will get an opportunity with Kansas City.

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Putz and Kendall Sign

jjputz-sadJ.J. Putz agreed to terms with the White Sox on a one-year, $3M contract plus incentives. Heck, at that price I would’ve liked to have seen him return to the Mets, who paid for his surgery and rehab. Oh well.

But hey, the Mets won’t miss the 7 players they sent to Seattle and Cleveland for the pleasure of 29 innings thrown by Putz and 161 at-bats by Jeremy Reed. And hey, there’s a good chance Sean Green returns to the Mets bullpen in 2010, so the deal wasn’t a complete loss. Meh.

In other news, Jason Kendall signed a two-year, $6M deal with the Kansas City Royals. I realize Kendall wasn’t the “sexy” choice among the free-agent backstops, but he wasn’t the worst either. The price and the two-year commitment seems steep for a 36-year-old catcher who makes Luis Castillo seem like a power hitter.

You could argue that the relatively expensive cost Kendall gives Bengie Molina leverage, but I believe just the opposite. Signing Kendall takes the Royals off the board in regard to the tiny and ever-shrinking demand for starting catchers. The only teams left who are definitely in the market for a veteran everyday receiver are the Giants (who publicly stated “that ship has sailed”), Astros, and Mets. The Rangers might be in play as well — despite having youngster Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia — but we haven’t heard any buzz about them going after Molina. So really it comes down to the Mets and the Astros, with Molina, Miguel Olivo, Rod Barajas, and Yorvit Torrealba all available — though, most believe that Torrealba will re-sign with the Rockies to platoon with Chris Iannetta.

Not to be ignored is the fact that Dioner Navarro — among others — may be non-tendered soon, swelling the pool of available catchers a bit more.

That said, you have to hope that the contract offer tendered by the Mets to Molina this past week was for one guaranteed year and an easily digestible salary. Anything else is bad business, since the supply exceeds the demand.

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Where’s the Market for Bengie Molina?

bengie-molina-mugIt’s no secret that the plodding Bengie Molina is the #1 choice of Omar Minaya to be the Mets’ starting catcher in 2010. However, talks appear at a standstill as Molina is looking for a three-year deal — something the Mets are intelligently refusing. So far.

Does it make sense for the Mets to stick to their guns, and play hardball with Bengie Molina?

First of all, we need to get past the argument of whether

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Francoeur for Greinke?

Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Braves are discussing a deal with the Royals that would send outfielder Jeff Francoeur to Kansas City for righthander Zack Greinke.

From the article:

According to one National League executive, the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves have had serious discussions about a trade that would send outfielder Jeff Francouer to the Royals for pitcher Zack Greinke. The same source said he believed the teams were close to executing the deal, but that Atlanta was holding up any and all trade discussions until the Braves had a resolution of their pursuit of right-hander A.J. Burnett. Current Royals GM Dayton Moore (who interviewed for the Red Sox’ job during Theo Epstein’s walkabout in 2005-06) is a former member of the Braves organization who is eager to bring Francouer to Kansas City.

Hmm … while I would love for the pesky Francoeur to leave Atlanta, I simply don’t see it happening. Despite his mid-season slump and temporary demotion to the minors, the organization seems to love Francoeur and the home-grown, “local boy done good” story attached to him. But then, the Braves have been operating differently since John Schuerholz retired.

If A.J. Burnett spurns Atlanta’s contract offer, the Braves will be in a fairly desperate situation, so a trade of Francoeur to fill a rotation spot is not completely unrealistic. Further, Greinke reminds me a lot of a young, righthanded Tom Glavine — a poised, confident pitcher with sick command of a 90-MPH fastball and offspeed stuff.

On the other hand, how many more young pitchers can the Royals afford to trade?

******* UPDATE ************

Joe Hamrahi says (through Twitter) that the Francoeur – Greinke rumors are “false false false”.

Hamrahi is tweeting live from Vegas. You can read more on Baseball Digest Daily.

****** UPDATE 2 ************

Mark Healey, also tweeting live from Vegas, says this rumor is “half-true”, and that the Royals are targeting Yunel Escobar, not Francoeur. This makes a lot more sense from Atlanta’s POV, as they seem ardent to dealing the Cuban shortstop. Does that mean the Braves sign someone like Orlando Cabrera? Or bring back Rafael Furcal? This one is worth watching.

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Royals Sign J.R. House

The Kansas City Royals have signed J.R. House to a split contract.

This isn’t stunning news, and I only mention it because I was obsessed with House last winter as a nice low-risk / high-reward guy, at a time when the Mets had no backstops on their MLB and AAA rosters. The 29-year-old catcher had yet another strong year offensively in AAA in 2008, hitting .306 with 18 HR, 25 doubles and 60 RBI in 454 at-bats. He also drew 53 walks and whiffed 52 times.

In 3 Major League at-bats with the Astros last year, House had no hits and one RBI. From 2003-2008, he has 60 big-league at-bats. Hard to figure why this guy hasn’t been given more of a chance — it’s not like power-hitting catchers grow on trees. Though, much of his early career was derailed by injuries. If he can ever remain healthy, he could be an All-Star. Maybe he’ll finally blossom in Kansas City.

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Royals Shopping Guillen

Jon Heyman is quite the busy bee today. He also dropped this bombshell: the Kansas City Royals are “quietly” shopping outfielder Jose Guillen.

First of all, it can’t be that quiet because we’ve been hearing about it since early October. Secondly, how is this a scoop when, again, we’ve been hearing about KC looking to dump Guillen since early October?

Maybe it’s not a “legitimate” rumor until Heyman reports it.

Guess we can reopen the unrealistic Luis Castillo – for – Jose Guillen conjecture ….

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