While we sort of had this ceremony back in July when outfielder Mitch Maier was designated for assignment, at that time, he accepted a spot in Omaha and finished the year out in Triple A. But today, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reported that Maier has signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox.
Happy trails, Mitch. Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
So why all the fuss about a player who’ll turn 31 next June? For one, he was a former first round pick by the Royals (2003), but for a time, he looked like at worst a capable fourth outfielder and potentially a part-time starter. He filled in admirably after injuries in the Royals outfield in 2009 and 2010. He almost escaped the AAAA player bubble, but, alas, he didn’t.
He’s always been a fan favorite in his occasional time as cries of “MITCH!” rang out after his big hits or defensive plays. He nearly reached legend status after being called in to pitch two times during blowouts – and holds a career 0.00 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in two career games. He also made an appearance on the mound in Omaha in 2012, giving up two unearned runs. But now, he’s gone on to a new environment where he can wait for an injury in the Red Sox outfield to come up and make a cameo. As long as the success isn’t at the expense of the Royals, we’ll wish him the best.
Another former Royal will get a look by a new team. First baseman Ernesto Mejia was added to the Braves 40 man roster on Sunday. He spent 2010 in the Royals system in Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas, achieving an .805 OPS between both levels. He left for the Braves organization where he discovered some power, hitting 50 homers the last two seasons, finishing with 24 last year in Triple A Gwinnett. He’s probably better known (for now) for his dugout dancing antics:
In other news, the Royals re-signed outfielder Paulo Orlando to a minor league deal. He’s made it as high as Triple A in the Royals system since coming over from the White Sox for Horacio Ramirez in 2008.