In light of the recent rumors, trades and other commentary going on right now involving the Royals and their prospects, I didn’t want the other moves that go on to go unnoticed.
After all, if you weren’t paying attention this time last year, you’d have ignored the signing of Wilson Betemit to a minor league contract. A year later, he’s a candidate for arbitration and may start the 2011 season as the Royals third baseman. Is there another rags to (relative) riches story in store for someone this year?
One thing’s for sure, if there is, it probably won’t be Brian Anderson leading the Royals bullpen to a resurgence. Anderson was designated for assignment last week to make room for the reinstated David DeJesus and Jason Kendall, then refused an outright assignment to Omaha. He is now a free agent, clear to attempt his conversion to pitcher with another club.
The Royals also signed outfielder Brett Carroll to a minor league contract. Carroll is 28 and has spent his professional career with the Marlins to this point in his career. He has a career OPS of .609 since 2007 in the major leagues. I suspect he’s going to be outfield depth in Triple A just in case David Lough, Paulo Orlando, Jarrod Dyson, or other outfielders who are just about ready for primetime, fall on their face in spring training or suffer a long-term injury. If Carroll sees more than 100 plate appearances in the majors, something either went terribly wrong, or he figured something out. But baseball’s a funny game sometimes, maybe Carroll has some value as a fourth outfielder this year at a bargain price.
A few other players remain with the Royals organization on minor league deals including infielder Irving Falu, who may end up being the cheap alternative to Willie Bloomquist the Royals may be lacking this year (or at least the good ole baseball men may think so).
Gage covered the signing of Steven Shell to a minor league deal already. Julio Pimentel and Luis Mendoza also join Shell in the pitchers-with-minor-league-contracts club. Pimentel has been rehabbing from various arm injuries for a while but got back into action last season after missing all of 2009.
The Royals also retained infielder Mario Lisson, catcher Cody Clark and first baseman Jamie Romak, who Kings of Kauffman reader “rbt” was sharp enough to notice was named the Pan Am Games MVP while playing for Team Canada in October.
None of these are real impact players, but Falu could see time in the majors in 2011 and Romak had a nice .296/.388/.458/.846 line during stints in High A and Double A last year, so it’s not talent we’d want to let walk away.
More moves will be on the way as the Royals finalize their 40 man roster in anticipation of the Rule 5 draft. I covered who should be protected almost two weeks ago.