Late season luck turns bad for 4 former KC Royals

(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Editor’s Note: After this story was published, the Orioles announced they have claimed Cam Gallagher and assigned him to Triple-A.

The 2022 regular major league season, delayed by a lockout that didn’t end until well after spring training was originally supposed to start, is grinding toward an Oct. 5 end. Some teams will soon secure postseason berths, but the KC Royals won’t win one; 56-84 after losing to Detroit Saturday, they’re stuck with a sixth consecutive losing campaign.

The Royals play on, hoping to find better luck in their final 22 games than they had in the previous 140.

The late season fortunes of four former Royals, however, have turned so bad that none may see action again this year.

Who are they, and what’s happened to them?

The KC Royals traded this catcher in July. Now he’s in baseball limbo.

For parts of six seasons, Cam Gallagher took a back seat to one of the best catchers in the game. Despite never being good enough to displace Salvador Perez, he became his capable and respected backup.

But the Royals’ catching picture changed this season—bringing MJ Melendez up in May gave the club the dual luxury of a better hitting alternative when Perez doesn’t catch and a serviceable outfielder when he does. That made Gallagher suddenly expendable, and the club dealt him to San Diego for outfielder Brent Rooker just before the August trade deadline passed.

Unfortunately for Gallagher, things with the Padres aren’t what they were with the Royals. Assigned immediately to Triple-A El Paso, Gallagher hasn’t seen San Diego and probably won’t. The Padres DFA’d him Friday to make room on their 40-man roster for outfielder Luis Liberato.

Gallagher isn’t the only ex-Royal suffering late season disappointment.