Top Royals News
Royals' Drew Storen: Declared healthy
Storen (elbow) passed his physical and is ready to compete for a spot on the major-league roster during spring training, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Storen agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training Friday, and the deal was made official after he passed his physical. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in December of 2017, the Royals are pleased to announce that he's received full clearance and won't face any throwing restrictions, per Flanagan.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Drew Storen: Agrees to deal with Royals
Storen (elbow) agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
The deal is pending a physical, a process which can't be taken for granted given that Storen sat out the entirety of 2018 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 31-year-old owns a career 3.45 ERA, though he hasn't posted an ERA below 4.45 since 2015. If healthy and effective, he could be an important member of a potentially shaky bullpen.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Chris Owings: Set for sizable reserve role
Manager Ned Yost said Owings will have a fairly regular role in the Royals' lineup, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reports.
Owings signed with Kansas City in December after being let go by Arizona following an ugly 2018 season in which he slashed .206/.272/.302 in 309 plate appearances. The 27-year-old has major-league experience in the outfield as well as every infield spot other than first base, so the Royals are liable to move him around depending on the matchup. Owings' career .250/.291/.378 slash line doesn't inspire confidence he'll be able to make a major fantasy impact in 2019.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Jesse Hahn: Sent to 60-day IL
Hahn (elbow) was placed on the 60-day injured list Wednesday.
This is simply procedural, as Hahn is already expected to remain sidelined until June while recovering from surgery he underwent in August to repair the UCL in his right elbow. The right-hander will likely remain at the Royals' spring training facility after camp concludes to continue his rehab.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Jake Diekman: Signs with Royals
Diekman signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract with the Royals on Wednesday, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. The deal includes a mutual option for 2020.
Diekman opened the 2018 campaign with the Rangers, posting a 3.69 ERA and 11.1 K/9 across 39.0 innings before being dealt to the Diamondback prior to the trade deadline. The southpaw struggled with Arizona, but is a solid bounce-back candidate in 2019 given his overall body of work over the past three seasons (3.92 ERA and 10.6 K/9 across 117 innings). Diekman should fill a high-leverage role for the Royals.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Tim Hill: Could see some saves
Hill is a candidate to see occasional save opportunities in 2019, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Manager Ned Yost was noncommittal when asked about naming a closer Wednesday, implying he may take a different approach to the ninth inning in 2019. Should Yost decide to use the team's top relievers in more flexible roles, Hill could see occasional save opportunities when the situation calls for a left-handed pitcher. That said, Brad Boxberger and Wily Peralta also represent endgame options for the Royals, and Hill posted a 4.53 ERA and 8.3 K/9 across 45.2 innings last season, so there are likely better options for those looking for a flier.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Wily Peralta: Role still undetermined
Manager Ned Yost would not name Peralta as Kansas City's closer ahead of spring training, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. "The roles will define themselves over time," Yost said.
Yost mentioned Peralta as a possible late-game option, noting the right-hander "got the job done" as the team's closer in 2018, going 14-for-14 in save opportunities. The manager also suggested that he may move away from a traditional ninth-inning role in 2019, instead using the team's top relievers in more flexible high-leverage roles. The Royals recently signed Brad Boxberger, who is also a candidate to close after converting 32 saves for the Diamondbacks last season.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Brad Boxberger: Role remains undetermined
Manager Ned Yost would not name Boxberger as the team's closer heading into camp, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. "The roles will define themselves over time," Yost said.
Yost also hinted at moving away from a traditional ninth-inning role, instead using his most trusted pitchers in high-leverage situations regardless of the inning. Boxberger, who tallied 32 saves to go with a 4.39 ERA and 71:32 K:BB in 53.1 innings last season, will likely battle Wily Peralta for save opportunities, while Tim Hill represents a left-handed option for late in games.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Homer Bailey: Working exclusively as starter
Bailey will only be viewed as a starting pitcher this spring, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Between injuries and performance, Bailey struggled during his most recent years in Cincinnati. His ERA sat north of 6.00 each of the past three seasons and he averaged a mere 6.9 K/9 over that span. Regardless, the Royals will only try him out as a starter and see if he can pose as an improvement over their back-end options. Only time will tell how things play out. If he's unable to crack the Opening Day rotation, it wouldn't be surprising to see Bailey become a free agent once again.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Jesse Hahn: Likely out until June
Hahn (elbow) will likely remain at the Royals' spring training facility after camp concludes and could be on the injured list until June, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
The delayed start to Hahn's season doesn't come as a major surprise after he required surgery in August to repair the UCL in his right elbow. While his procedure wasn't quite on the same level of a Tommy John surgery, it nonetheless requires a rehab period of several months and will put him well behind his fellow pitchers this spring. Hahn should still be able to begin some sort of throwing schedule during camp and could be ready to head out on a minor-league rehab assignment in May.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Ian Kennedy: Potentially moving to relief role
Manager Ned Yost said that Kennedy may be moved into a relief role at some point during 2019, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
The veteran starter hasn't been great for the Royals the past two seasons, to put it nicely, posting a 5.06 ERA and a 1.8 HR/9 in that span. As such, the Royals brass may want to test out other starting pitching options at some point in 2019, especially if Kennedy continues to be ineffective. Kennedy's spot in the rotation appears to be safe for the start of the season, but a rough beginning of the season could put him on thin ice.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Homer Bailey: Joins Kansas City on minors deal
Bailey signed a minor-league contract with the Royals on Saturday that includes an invitation to major-league spring training.
The Royals don't have much in the way of established rotation arms, so Bailey should at the very least receive a token opportunity to audition for a starting gig in spring training. That being said, the 32-year-old has shown little evidence over the past three seasons in Cincinnati that he's worthy of an extended look in the majors. During that span, Bailey has gone 9-26 with a 6.29 ERA (5.03 FIP) and 6.9 K/9 across 44 starts. In the likely event that Bailey fails to break camp with the big club, he may not be willing to accept an assignment to Triple-A Omaha and could request his release from the organization.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Brad Boxberger: Inks one-year pact with Kansas City
Boxberger agreed to a one-year, $2.2 million contract with the Royals on Wednesday, Jon Heyman of FancredSports.com reports.
The 30-year-old reliever will receive a nice raise after compiling a 4.39 ERA, 71:32 K:BB and 32 saves in 53.1 innings last season with the Diamondbacks. Given that Wily Peralta is the only real competition for saves in Kansas City, Boxberger figures to be a contender for the Royals' closer role from the get-go, boosting his fantasy stock after a lackluster finish to 2018.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Ashe Russell: Returns to baseball
Russell will return to baseball after a break of over two years and will compete for a minor-league job with the Royals in spring training, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Russell was a first-round pick by the Royals back in 2015, but severe confidence issues forced him to step away from the game after throwing just two innings in 2016. Russell is still just 22 years old, and the talent that made him the 21st overall pick is still there, but expectations should be very low for a player who hasn't pitched above rookie ball and has been out of the game for so long.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Whit Merrifield: Extension contains 2023 team option
The four-year contract extension Merrifield agreed to Sunday with the Royals includes a $10.5 million team option for 2023, Jeff Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Merrifield's deal will guarantee him at least $16.25 million. He'll make $15.5 million over the first four years of the deal and will be due a $750,000 buyout in the event the Royals choose not to exercise the 2023 team option in what would be his age-34 season. The speedster's contract also contains salary escalators in 2021 and 2022 for reaching certain award or plate appearance-based thresholds that would make the deal worth $31.75 million at maximum. It's an extension that works well for both sides, as it gives Merrifield a higher annual salary ceiling while buying out his arbitration years and enables the Royals to retain one of their top performers over the past two seasons at an affordable price.... See More ... See Less