The KC Royals, a 106-loss team in dire need of offseason roster improvement, began making moves Wednesday. The club announced pitcher Tucker Davidson is heading for Baltimore on a waiver claim, and catcher Tyler Cropley has been assigned to Triple-A Omaha.
Neither move is seismic. Neither will significantly change the team's outlook.
But both transactions were made with good reason.
Tucker Davidson didn't make his mark with the KC Royals this season
Davidson, a pitcher with whom few Kansas City fans were familiar before he became a Royal via an Aug. 1 deal with the Angels, wasn't impressive in his short KC stay; unfortunately, his 2023 record with the Angels — he had an 18-game 6.54 ERA — foretold how he'd fare with the Royals.
The lefty reliever didn't do well. Appearing 20 times before the season ended, he surrendered 11 runs in 19.2 innings (5.03 ERA, 89 ERA+) and failed to carve out a sustainable niche for himself in one of the major leagues' worst bullpens.
Placing Davidson on waivers clearly indicated the Royals weren't including him in their future plans. Now, he'll get a chance to pitch for a contender.
Wednesday's moves render Tyler Cropley's Kansas City future uncertain
Cropley labored in the organization's minor league system for just over four seasons before the Royals called him up Sept. 9; he didn't play, found himself designated for assignment and then outrighted to Omaha two days later, but made it back to Kansas City a week later. Squeezed into two games by manager Matt Quatraro, he managed a single in six at-bats.
It's not at all surprising that the Royals chose to move Cropley. Catcher is a crowded position in their system — the club has Salvador Perez and impressive rookie Freddy Fermin working behind the plate in the majors, Logan Porter made his big league debut in September and may or may not have a place in the team's long-range plans, and several promising prospects are making their way through the minors.
What happens to Cropley now remains to be seen. But his career minor league numbers — a .210/.318/.318 line and 10 homers in 162 games — suggest his tenure with the franchise might not last much longer.