Kansas City Royals make roster moves ahead of tender deadline

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 11: Terrance Gore
GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 11: Terrance Gore /

The Kansas City Royals offered a few contracts ahead of Friday’s tender deadline. The team also made a few other roster moves heading into the weekend.

The front office of the Kansas City Royals didn’t stay exactly on script during a hectic Friday. That doesn’t mean the organization stayed silent on a busy day around MLB. In unsurprising moves, contracts were reportedly tendered to arbitration-eligible pitchers Kelvin Herrera, Brandon Maurer and Nate Karns, according to Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star.

Right-handed pitcher Mike Morin landed a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. Meanwhile, the team non-tendered speedster Terrance Gore. The move made the outfielder a free agent. Although, just hours later, the Kansas City Royals signed him to a minor league contract.

On Friday evening, the Royals’ official twitter account tweeted out the initial news:

And a few hours later, they confirmed Gore’s new contract:

More on Gore

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The dance with Gore makes complete sense. Having run out of options, he would have had to remain on the 25-man roster throughout the season or else be placed on waivers. They took the alternate route with Christian Colon last season and ended up waiving him in May. Perhaps, that experience led to a different approach with Gore.

A former 20th-round pick, Gore has had an interesting career to this point. Through four seasons, he has featured in 49 MLB games with just 11 official at-bats and no hits. However, he has scored 14 runs and racked 21 steals in 25 attempts. Add in Gore’s four steals and two runs scored during his postseason career, and it’s clear he has carved out a niche — albeit one that makes him a 25-man roster liability.

More on Morin

According to Dodd, Morin signed a split contract. It means the 26-year-old, who graduated from high school in Overland Park, Kansas, would be determined by where he ends up playing next season be it Kansas City or somewhere on the farm. Signing the contract avoids an arbitration hearing — a situation Herrera, Maurer and Karns will face if no agreement is reached by February.

The Kansas City Royals originally drafted Morin in the 40th round of the 2009 draft. He opted to play at North Carolina, earning a 13th-round selection by the Angels three years later. After featuring out of the bullpen 177 times for Los Angeles, the Boys in Blue picked him up off waivers on Sept. 12. After four scoreless appearances to begin his Royals career, Morin struggled mightily in his final two outings. That included allowing two runs over 1 1/3 innings in the season-finale.

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So, what do you think? Did the front office make the right moves? Will any of the arbitration-eligible players sign early with the Kansas City Royals? Let us know your thoughts.