Ever since the calendar has turned to 2017, the KC Royals have been making moves. We were told the payroll for this season would not exceed last year’s, but they have been spending as of late.
Yesterday, the Royals announced the signing of reliever Seth Maness to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp. The right-hander is coming off experimental surgery for a torn UCL, but if healthy, will most likely make the team. If he does, Maness will make $1.25 million plus $750,000 in incentives.
Then last night came word that the Royals have signed lefty Travis Wood, pending a physical, to a two year, $12 million contract. However, no official word has come out yet, so we have no idea who will be taken off the 40-man roster.
Wood is expected to battle Nate Karns and Chris Young for the final starting spot, but most likely will end up in the bullpen. The addition of Wood means that lefty Matt Strahm will be sticking in the bullpen (along with Mike Minor), unless the Royals decide to send him to the minors.
The addition of Wood also makes the chances of guys like Jake Junis and Eric Skoglund of making the team slim-to-none. I also don’t see guys like Josh Staumont, Kevin McCarthy, Eric Stout, or Andrew Edwards making the team now either. If I had to guess the pitchers to make the roster out of spring training, I would go with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jason Vargas, Wood, Karns, Young, Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, Maness, Minor (if healthy), and either Strahm or Brian Flynn.
There aren’t a whole lot of open spots for some of the younger guys because the Royals are throwing out money to put themselves ALL IN. Will it pay off?
But then again, spring training is JUST starting and injuries happen.