The Royals front office must have been bored this morning and out to make something happen. By the afternoon, they’d made a number of different moves.
Royals agreed to terms with Carlos Pena on a minor league deal.
Pena had been released by the Astros after being designated for assignment and released a month ago. He was hitting .209/.324/.350 when he was let go. Pena is the typical three true outcomes hitter – capable of taking a walk or hitting a homer in any at bat, but also a prime candidate to strike out.
The move will put Pena on Omaha’s roster for the remainder of their season. They’ll be reaching the playoffs in the Pacific Coast League as well, so he may stick around for that also. The Royals might add him to the 40 man roster in September as well and use him periodically. There’s virtually no risk with this move. Pena has also been a strong defender at first base throughout his career.
Boston wants Berry for pinch-running duty in September and offered up 28-year-old Mortensen to get him. Mortensen has bounced around the league, with stints in St. Louis, Colorado, Oakland and Boston, and has a 4.68 career ERA. A strong 2011 and 2012 have his ERA+ at 94 as a big leaguer, so the Royals got a 6’4″ righty for hardly anything. Mortensen will report to Omaha, but may be a depth arm once spring training comes along.
Ervin Santana placed on revocable trade waivers.
It’s standard procedure for teams to place players on trade waivers once the July 31 trade deadline passes. If a team claims the player, the team simply pulls them back if they want to retain him. Or, if a team claims a player, the two teams can work out a trade. If the player clears waivers entirely, the team can trade them to any team they can work out a deal with, so long as any 40 man roster players involved also clear waivers.
Ken Rosenthal reported the placement on waivers, but didn’t have information on whether or not there had been a claim or if Santana had cleared or been pulled back. If the Royals were to trade him at this stage, they’d be looking to get a good deal, since Santana, an upcoming free agent, could return a draft pick to the Royals if he signs with another team this offseason (assuming the Royals make a qualifying offer to him, which would shock everyone in all of baseball if they didn’t).
We had a pretty good idea this was coming last night after Danny Duffy was reportedly getting his passport ahead of a Kansas City road trip to Toronto this weekend and Ned’s inability to commit to Davis in his next turn. Duffy will start Wednesday in Minnesota, Bruce Chen will start Thursday.
The Royals will have to make a move to get Duffy on the active roster. Will Smith is waiting to be optioned back to Omaha, but Luke Hochevar will also be returning from the paternity list, so the Royals will also have to make a move for that activation as well.
As part of the announcement, Yost mentioned that if the Royals were to make the playoffs, they’d want Duffy on their postseason roster. He also expressed a desire to limit Davis’s innings the rest of the way to prevent injury.