KC Royals News: 5 former players join new clubs, and a great NLBM deal

Catching up on some loose Royal ends.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Rounding up some KC Royals news items while wondering if, after extending Bobby Witt Jr. to begin the week, the club has any moves left in it before spring training begins next week...

Any hopes fans held for a reunion with popular pitcher Danny Duffy were dashed Monday by the World Series champion Texas Rangers. Lost in the news firestorm Witt's signing generated was word out of Arlington that Duffy, who spent last season pitching for the Rangers' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates and went 2-2 with a 3.28 ERA in 28 games, is returning to the organization. He signed a minor league contract and received an invitation to spring training.

And although Duffy reporting to Texas' Surprise, Arizona, spring complex won't be a reunion with his former KC teammates in the strict sense of the term, they'll see plenty of each other — the two clubs share the complex and will face off in several Cactus League games, including their Feb. 23 exhibition season opener.

Danny Duffy isn't the only ex-Royal pitcher who has a new employer

While Duffy is headed back to the Rangers, it appears former Kansas City hurler Jakob Junis has landed a new job in Milwaukee. Per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand and others, Junis, who in five seasons with the Royals went 29-35, 4.82, and twice led or tied for the club lead in wins, will join the Brewers on a one-season, $7 million deal.

A former Royal is returning to the American League Central

Carlos Santana, whose late June trade to Seattle opened the door for Vinnie Pasquantino's 2022 big league debut, played all of last season in the National League. Now,, he's on his way back to the American League Central.

Santana, who clubbed 23 homers and drove in 90 runs, but hit only .215 in 210 games with the Royals, reportedly has a one-year deal with Minnesota.

Two other ex-KC players have new clubs

In case you missed two late-January transactions, free agent Matt Duffy, who spent 2023 with the Royals, signed a minor league contract with the Rangers, and Bubba Thompson, who played part of last season for KC's Omaha Triple-A affiliate and has since been with the Reds and Yankees, is now a Twin after Minnesota claimed him off waivers from the Yanks.

February will be a great time to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

It's been reported frequently lately, but this news bears repeating. Fans contemplating a trip to Kansas City's famous and fascinating Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, located at 1616 East 18th Street, have an extra incentive to make that journey this month.

They can't beat the price — the Royals and the Kansas City Royals Foundation are teaming up to pay for everyone's visits during February.