The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has agreed to terms with first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales (pronounced: KEN-dreez more-AH-lez) on a two-year deal with a mutual option for the 2017 season. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Morales, 31, split the 2014 season between Minnesota and Seattle, signing a free agent contract with the Twins on June 8, before being traded back to the Mariners on July 24 for right-handed pitcher Stephen Pryor. He batted .218 with 20 doubles, eight homers and 42 RBI in 98 games between his two stops. After homering just once in his first 55 games, he hit seven round-trippers in his final 43 contests. In his last full season with Seattle (2013), he hit .277 with 34 doubles, 23 homers, 80 RBI and a .449 slugging percentage, playing in 156 games.
A switch-hitter, Morales played his first six Major League seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, enjoying a break-out year in 2009 when he tied for sixth in the American League with a career-high 34 homers and ranked fifth in the league with 108 RBI. He finished fifth in the Most Valuable Player voting that season. He was acquired by Seattle in 2012 for current Royals pitcher Jason Vargas. Morales is a career .271 hitter with 150 doubles, 110 homers, 387 RBI and a .460 slugging percentage. His 110 round-trippers are ninth-most among active switch-hitters.
A native of Fomento, Cuba, Morales resides in Miami, Fla., during the offseason with wife, Yarley and children Hanely and Kendrys, Jr.
The Royals announced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Yohan Pino (pronounced: PEEN-oh) to a Major League free-agent contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. In a corresponding roster move, the Royals designated right-handed pitcher Casey Coleman for assignment.
Pino, 30, made 11 starts with the Minnesota Twins last season, going 2-5 with a 5.07 ERA (34 ER in 60.1 IP), and walked just 14 while recording 50 strikeouts. He made his Major League debut on June 19 against the White Sox, taking a no-decision in a 4-2 Twins’ victory, allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts over 7.0 frames. He earned his first big league win in Seattle on July 10, allowing one run in the first 5.0 innings of a 4-2 triumph.
Pino also posted a 10-2 record and a 2.47 ERA (20 ER in 73.0 IP) with Rochester (AAA) last season, holding opponents to a .180 batting average, while he recorded a pair of shutouts in his first three starts. The right-handed pitcher originally signed with the Twins in 2004 and has compiled an 84-57 mark and a 3.76 ERA in 294 minor league appearances (155 starts) with nine complete games and four shutouts. Along with the Minnesota, Pino has pitched in the Cleveland Indians (2009-11), Toronto Blue Jays (2011-12) and Cincinnati Reds (2013) organizations.
Individual Royals Spring Training game tickets went on sale today (Monday, December 15).
You may also purchase tickets at 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 3 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
Veteran sportswriter Dick Kaegel has retired from MLB.com (click for an article by MLB.com’s Mike Bauman). Kaegel covered the Royals for 27 years, including the last decade as the beat writer for royals.com. Dick’s first World Series was on the east side of Missouri in 1964. Fifty years later, he finished his career here on the Show Me State’s west side, covering the Royals’ run to the Fall Classic.
Dick frequently brought his stories to life with a key word, phrase or background information…we appreciate this even more after being on the inside and seeing these stories develop. We’ll miss DK in the press box, though we hope to see him around Kauffman Stadium and Kansas City! Congrats on your retirement!
On Thursday evening, the Royals announced that right-handed pitcher Luke Hochevar will return on a two-year contract with a mutual option for the 2017 season. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.
Hochevar, 31, missed the entire 2014 season, rehabbing from “Tommy John” surgery in mid-March. He made a successful transition to the bullpen in 2013, going 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA (15 ER in 70.1 IP), holding opponents to a .169 batting average, which ranked third in the American League. His 82 strikeouts in 2013 also tied for sixth among the league’s relief pitchers with his 10.49 strikeouts per 9.0 IP ranking eighth in team history. The top overall selection in the 2006 June Free Agent Draft, Hochevar debuted for the Royals in 2007 and was a member of KC’s starting rotation from 2008-12. He’s 43-61 in his big league career with a 5.10 ERA in 190 outings (128 starts).
The Kansas City Royals announced tonight that the club will not tender a 2015 Major League contract to left-handed pitcher Francisley Bueno, making him a free agent. Kansas City’s roster now stands at 38 players.
The Kansas City Royals have been named the Organization of the Year by Baseball America the publication announced today. It marked the second time the Royals have earned the honor, also garnering the award following the 1994 season.
With a roster made up of predominately players that came up through the minor league system, the Royals stormed to 89 victories in 2014 and reached the World Series for the first time in 29 years, falling to the San Francisco Giants in seven games. The club set a Major League record by winning its first eight postseason contests, beginning with a thrilling 9-8 triumph in 12 innings over Oakland in the Wild Card Game and included a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels in the Division Series and a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series.
Of the 26 players the American League champions used during the postseason, 13 of them were either drafted by the club or signed as international free agents, while nine others came over via trades.
“We are thrilled to receive this great honor,” Royals General Manager Dayton Moore said. “I’m extremely proud of our entire organization.”
While the Major League club enjoyed historic success, the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate, the Omaha Storm Chasers, also captured their second-straight Triple-A title and were Pacific Coast League champions for the third time in the last four seasons.
A link to the story which was posted to Baseball America’s website is below:
The Royals announced today that former infielder Chris Getz will join the club’s front office staff as a Baseball Operations Assistant/Player Development. He will assist in player personnel and development responsibilities.
Getz, 31, played in 10 games with Toronto last year after signing with them as a free agent during the offseason, and officially retired as a player on May 16. He spent the previous four years with the Royals (2010-13), playing a career high 118 games in 2011, while he hit a career-best .275 with 10 doubles, three triples, 22 runs scored and 11 stolen bases in 2012. He was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the fourth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft and played his first two Major League seasons (2008-09) in Chicago. He was traded to the Royals on November 5, 2009, coming over with infielder Josh Fields for infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen.
Getz and his wife, Nicole, have an infant son, Luke, who was born in June of this year.
Royals GM Dayton Moore participated in a media conference call today after Billy Butler’s signing with the Oakland Athletics became official.
Moore said that the Royals were given the opportunity to work with Billy throughout the negotiations. While the Royals were interested in bringing Billy back, the overall package was something that Moore felt the Royals could not match.
Moore is proud of everything that Butler did for the Royals, on and off the field. He talked about how Billy is a fun player to watch in the batter’s box and that the A’s are getting a tremendous hitter. He’s happy for Billy, his wife Katie and the Butler family. He hasn’t spoken with Billy since the signing, but plans to in the near future.
Now that signing Butler is not an option, Moore indicated that adding a starting pitcher and improved bullpen depth are priorities. The Royals like the flexibility of allowing multiple players to be the DH, with Moore naming Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, Omar Infante and Salvador Perez as players who could see occasional duty in the role. That being said, a player who fills the DH role is an option, though Moore said the focus is on getting the best players.
On another note, tomorrow (Thursday) is the deadline for filling the winter rosters. The Royals can add players to the roster to keep them from being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. Moore indicated that the Royals have had meetings to determine who fits on the 40-man roster. The club currently has five spots available.
A personal note from the blogger:
Best wishes to Billy and his family. I remember meeting him when he reached the Majors at age 21 in 2007 and have watched him grow up since then. He was always polite as I got to know him through community events and multiple Royals Caravan trips. He leaves KC among the top 10 in career games, home runs, RBI, hits, batting average, doubles, walks, slugging percentage and total bases. – CC
We’re less than three weeks removed from Game 7 of the World Series – and we are thinking about 2015! The Royals announced their spring schedule today.
The Royals will prepare for their defense of the American League crown with a 31-game Spring Training schedule that features 14 home games at Surprise Stadium, plus two additional games in Surprise as the road club against Texas, March 4 and March 30. The first two home games will start at 2:05 p.m. CT, vs. Texas on March 5 and vs. Cincinnati on March 7, until Daylight Savings Time on March 8, when remaining day games will begin at 3:05 p.m. CT.
Other highlights include a home-and-home against 2014 World Series opponent San Francisco on Sunday March 22 in Surprise and Monday, March 23 at Scottsdale Stadium. The Royals will conclude the spring schedule by traveling to Houston for games on Friday, April 3 (7:10 p.m.) and Saturday, April 4 (3:10 p.m.) and open the regular season at home on Monday, April 6 against the Chicago White Sox.
The Surprise Recreation Campus will accept mail orders as well as online orders. To obtain a ticket brochure, fans can call (623) 222-2222 or visit http://www.royals.com/springtraining online. Individual Spring Training game tickets go on sale via an online pre-sale on Monday, December 15 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 3 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.
Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Thursday, February 19. Workouts for pitchers begin the following day, Friday, February 20. The remainder of the squad will report on Tuesday, February 24 and begin workouts for the 2015 campaign on Wednesday, February 25.
* All times Central; dates and times are subject to change
* March 4 – Charity game
* (SS) – indicates a split squad
|8||Sunday||at Los Angeles Angels||Tempe||3:10|
|10||Tuesday||CHICAGO WHITE SOX||SURPRISE||3:05|
|14||Saturday||LOS ANGELES ANGELS (SS)||SURPRISE||3:05|
|17||Tuesday||at Chicago Cubs||Mesa||3:05|
|20||Friday||at San Diego||Peoria||9:05|
|21||Saturday||at Chicago White Sox||Glendale||3:05|
|22||Sunday||SAN FRANCISCO (SS)||SURPRISE||3:05|
|23||Monday||at San Francisco||Scottsdale||3:05|
|25||Wednesday||CHICAGO WHITE SOX||SURPRISE||8:05|
|26||Thursday||at Seattle (SS)||Peoria||3:05|
|31||Tuesday||at San Diego||Peoria||9:05|
|1||Wednesday||LOS ANGELES DODGERS||SURPRISE||2:05|