The Royals announced have added left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas to the 40-man roster. To clear a spot on the Major League 40-man roster, the Royals have designated catcher George Kottaras for assignment. Kottaras was KC’s backup catcher in 2013. He recorded five home runs and 12 RBI in 46 games.
The Royals announced today that they have agreed to terms with free agent left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas on a four-year Major League contract upon completion of a physical, which he passed today. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Vargas, 30, went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA in 24 starts with the Los Angeles Angels last season, recording 109 strikeouts in 150.0 innings. He tallied a pair of shutouts, making him one of just eight American League pitchers to collect multiple shutouts during the 2013 season. The left-handed hurler was named A.L. Pitcher of the Month in May, going 5-0 with a 2.30 ERA in six starts, his second monthly award in the last two years. Vargas has tossed five shutouts over the last three seasons, which is tied with former teammate Felix Hernandez for fifth in the Major Leagues in that span.
A workhorse throughout his career, Vargas has logged 568.1 innings over the last three seasons, including a career high 217.1 frames for Seattle in 2012, which were the most by a left-handed pitcher that season. His nine complete games since the start of 2011 are tied for fifth-most in the Major Leagues, including second-most among southpaws. He set career bests in wins (14), starts (33), innings pitched (217.1), strikeouts (141), WHIP (1.18) and quality starts (22) during the 2012 season with Seattle.
Vargas and his wife, Shelley, reside in Phoenix, Ariz., with their son, Joshua, and daughter, Elizabeth.
We welcome Jason and his family to Kansas City!
The Royals today announced several moves to set the club’s 40-man roster at 40 for the offseason reserve list deadline which occurs at midnight ET tonight.
The club has added outfielder Lane Adams, infielders Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert and right-handed pitcher Michael Mariot to the 40-man roster. In corresponding roster moves, the Royals have designated left-handed pitcher Noel Arguelles and infielder Irving Falu for assignment, while right-handed pitcher Felipe Paulino has elected to become a free agent in lieu of accepting an outright assignment to Omaha.
Adams, 24, was named the Wilmington (A-Advanced) Player of the Year in 2013. He batted .276 with seven home runs, 39 RBI and 23 stolen bases for the Blue Rocks before a July promotion to Northwest Arkansas. He finished the season with Omaha (AAA), helping the Storm Chasers win the Pacific Coast League championship by going 3-for-5 with four RBI in the series clinching win over Salt Lake. Adams was a 13th-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
Colon, 24, was the Omaha Player of the Year last season. He hit .273 with 12 home runs, 58 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 131 games. Colon had an impressive second half, hitting .335 (56-for-167) while posting a .406 on-base percentage. He was KC’s first-round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Cuthbert, 21, hit .247 with 37 doubles, eight homers and 59 RBI in 134 games between Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas (AA). He hit .280 with 21 doubles and 31 RBI with the Blue Rocks, before being promoted on June 13. Cuthbert was signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2009.
Mariot, 25, posted a 4-5 record with 11 saves and a 3.56 ERA in 47 appearances with Omaha last season. He totaled 66 strikeouts in 60.2 innings, while posting a 1.39 WHIP. The right-handed pitcher was an eighth-round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Nebraska.
The Royals today announced their 2014 Spring Training schedule, with the club opening its 12th season in the Cactus League as the home team against its Surprise complex mates, the Texas Rangers, on Thursday, February 27 at 2:05 p.m. (CT).
Kansas City’s 30-game Spring Training schedule features 14 home games at Surprise Stadium, plus one game in Surprise as the road club against Texas, which is the second game of the spring. Home day games from February 27 to March 7 will start at 2:05 p.m. (CT) until Daylight Saving Time on March 9 when the day games will begin at 3:05 p.m. (CT). The Royals will host evening games at 8:05 p.m. (CT) on Monday, March 17 vs. Texas, Wednesday, March 19 vs. the Cincinnati Reds and Tuesday, March 25 vs. the Seattle Mariners. Kansas City will conclude the spring schedule by traveling to Milwaukee for games on Friday, March 28 (7:10 p.m.) and Saturday, March 29 (1:10 p.m.). The 2014 regular season will open for the Royals in Detroit vs. the defending division champions on Monday, March 31.
The full spring schedule can be seen here: http://mlb.mlb.com/spring_training/tentative.jsp?c_id=kc
The Surprise Recreation Campus will accept mail orders along with orders for season ticket packages beginning on Monday, December 2. For these orders, fans can call (623) 222-2222 or go online and visit www.royals.com/springtraining to obtain a ticket brochure. Individual Spring Training game tickets go on sale via an online pre-sale on Monday, December 9 through ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. The Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office will open at 7 a.m. local time on Saturday, January 4 for walk-up purchases. A service charge will be applied to tickets purchased online or over the phone. Fans with questions about Spring Training tickets may call (623) 222-2222, beginning today.
Again in 2014, the Royals are offering exclusive fan travel experiences, allowing fans to experience Spring Training like never before. Packages include game tickets, choice of hotel accommodations, car rental and a custom Royals Spring Training merchandise package including a hat, t-shirt and backpack.
The “Grand Slam” package will be held March 13–16 and will include the exclusive pre-game meet and greet with Royals team personnel and select players. In addition, three “Spring Special” weekends (do not include the meet and greet) will be held February 28-March 2, March 7-9 and March 21-23. For more information and to confirm your reservations, please call (800) 892-7687 or online at www.royals.com/springtravel.
Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Friday, February 14. Workouts for pitchers begin the following day, Saturday, February 15. The remainder of the squad will report on Wednesday, February 19 and begin workouts for the 2014 campaign on Thursday, February 20.
The Peoria Javelinas have their final game of the 2013 Arizona Fall League this afternoon (November 14).
We take a look at two more Royals prospects, with the photos courtesy of Lee Magenheim of Arizona.
Player: Lane Adams
Age: Turned 24 on Wednesday
Hometown: Red Oak, Oklahoma
Acquired: 13th round pick in the 2009 June Free Agent Draft
2013: Wilmington Player of the Year (.276 AVG, 7 HR, 39 RBI, 23 SB in 87 games); promoted to Northwest Arkansas, where he tied club records with three home runs and seven RBI on August 13. Joined Omaha during the PCL playoffs.
Basketball Star: Adams led Red Oak to state championships in both baseball and basketball. He scored 3,251 points during his basketball career, finishing fifth in Oklahoma prep history. His 93.7 percent free throw percentage as a junior led all of Oklahoma. Adams turned down a basketball scholarship to sign with the Royals.
Player: Malcom Culver
Hometown: El Mirage, Ariz. (attended high school in California)
Acquired: Eighth round pick in the 2008 June Free Agent Draft
Position: Right-handed pitcher
2013: Recorded a 2.79 ERA, 76 strikeouts and five saves in 84.0 innings at High-A Wilmington. Made one appearance with Northwest Arkansas.
Football Star: Culver had an opportunity to play both baseball and football at San Diego State. He chose to sign with KC.
Return to the mound: Culver was drafted as a pitcher. He spent 2008-10 as an infielder before moving back to the mound in 2011.
The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has requested release waivers on right-handed pitcher Luis Mendoza, who plans to pitch in Japan during the 2014 season.
Mendoza, 30, finished 2013 at 2-6 with a 5.36 ERA in 94.0 innings, which spanned 22 appearances. He opened the season in the Royals’ rotation, making 15 starts, before moving to the bullpen just before the All-Star break. Mendoza is 16-25 with a 5.39 ERA in seven Major League seasons between Kansas City and Texas.
MLB Network is airing select Arizona Fall League games this week. On Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Central, the network will broadcast the game between the Peoria Javelinas and the Salt River Rafters. Eight Royals prospects are on the Peoria roster. The game will feature testing of Major League Baseball’s new review procedures for expanded instant replay.
While we’re on the subject of the Arizona Fall League, we bring you this prospect profile on Orlando Calixte. Our photos are courtesy of Lee Magenheim.
Player: Orlando Calixte
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Signed with KC: August 28, 2010
Position: Shortstop (also playing second base in the Arizona Fall League)
2013: Earned Texas League All-Star honors at Northwest Arkansas
Eric Hosmer’s 2013 season started slowly. He did not panic, knowing that he could turn it around by continuing to grind away. Hosmer did just that, leading the Majors in hits from May 19 on. He finished the season with a .302 average, his first Rawlings Gold Glove and his first Les Milgram Royals Player of the Year award.
An early hand injury slowed Hosmer, though he fought through it with help from the Royals training staff. Hosmer’s resurgence also coincided with the additions of George Brett and Pedro Grifol to the coaching staff. Hosmer cited Brett’s presence and mentality, which rubbed off on the team. He also mentioned learning the importance of a daily routine from Brett and Grifol. He is excited to work with Grifol again next season, saying that KC’s hitting coach shares great insight about opposing pitchers while helping the Royals build on their strengths.
Hosmer mentioned the strong work ethic of the Royals, which starts with Alex Gordon leading by example. Eric is currently working out three times a week to stay in shape. He will ramp up his offseason routine soon. Eric’s brother Mike worked with him on drills last offseason, which he believes was a big factor in his 2013 success.