The KC Royals made a few more roster moves yesterday, outrighting both pitcher Dillon Gee and first baseman/outfielder Daniel Nava to Triple-A. However, both elected free agency and have become free agents. That puts the Royals roster at 37 players.
Gee pitched fairly well for the Royals in 2016 (4.68 ERA in 125 innings, though a 6.30 ERA in September skewed his numbers a bit), but his season ended prematurely with blood clots and then surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. He is expected to be ready for spring training, though it was the second time in his career that he has dealt with blood clots.
The Royals picked up Nava in a midseason move that made no sense to me and he was a September callup (though he played in just 12 games).
- They also did not give qualifying offers to DH Kendrys Morales or starter Edinson Volquez. The Royals are interested in bringing both back, but not at the $17.2 million qualifying offer.
- According to Jeffrey Flanagan, the Royals released a bunch of lower level minor league arms like Daniel Concepcion, Alex Close, Cole Way, and Christian Flecha. Close was drafted in 2015 and only pitched one season (2016 with rookie level Burlington). They also released minor league catcher Chad Johnson.
Johnson had a rough season with High-A Wilmington, hitting just .224 in 92 games with just 19 extra base hits and 109 strikeouts in 299 at-bats. His defense also left a lot to be desired (12 errors and nine passed balls). Base stealers were successful 78% of the time with Johnson behind the plate. However, from seeing him a lot, he works extremely hard, so you may see him pick up with another team.
- Speaking of minor leaguers, Baseball America released their list of minor league free agents. The Royals currently have 12: pitchers Clayton Mortensen, Aroni Nina, John Lannan, Nick Tepesch, and Benino Pruneda, first baseman Balbino Fuenmayor, and infielders Irving Falu, Angel Franco, Orlando Calixte, Carlos Garcia, Dusty Coleman, and Steve Tolleson. Last year, Franco, Calixte, and Garcia all re-signed.
- The Royals were in attendance on Monday for former closer Greg Holland‘s showcase. Apparently, he is still building arm strength because his fastball velocity was underwhelming (88-91 mph).
- Last night, the Gold Glove winners were announced on ESPN. Catcher Salvador Perez won his fourth straight.
First baseman Eric Hosmer lost out to Texas’ Mitch Moreland and left fielder Alex Gordon lost out to NYY Brett Gardner (who finally took home his first). Hosmer was trying for his fourth straight and Gordon was looking for his fifth total.