Roster changes shake up rare off-day for KC Royals

Kansas City involves two present outfielders and a new one in Sunday moves.
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The KC Royals, fresh from splitting a two-game series with St. Louis, have the rare luxury of taking Sunday off. But that didn't stop the Kansas City front office from making roster moves.

Instead, the club announced it's reinstated one outfielder, demoted another to the minors, and added one from another club. Back from the three-day Bereavement List is Drew Waters, headed down to Triple-A Omaha is Edward Olivares, and coming to the organization from the Rangers is Bubba Thompson.

Waters' return from the Bereavement List was a foregone conclusion. The Royals placed him there Thursday; he'll be available when the club opens a four-game home series with Seattle Monday night.

The team also optioned Olivares to Omaha, where he last played on two rehabilitation assignments last season. He went 2-for-8 with a double and an RBI in the Friday-Saturday games with the Cardinals and in 85 apperabces this year has six homers and a .246/.299/.401 line.

Sending Olivares down suggests he may be fading from the Royals' plans. The Royals are flush with outfielders at the major and minor league levels, making it imperative that they sort out who is and isn't in the running for spots on next year's roster, and Olivares has yet to distinguish himself as a regular starter since coming to Kansas City in the 2020 trade deadline deal that sent reliever Trevor Rosenthal to San Diego.

The organization's newest outfielder will join Olivares at Omaha.

The KC Royals acquire Bubba Thompson from Texas on a waiver claim

Kansas City picked up Thompson, who has 92 games of big league experience since breaking in with the Rangers and hitting nine homers in 55 contests last season, on waivers; the Rangers designated him for assignment late in the week, and the Royals obviously found him worth adding.

Precisely what Kansas City has planned for Thompson remains to be seen. He hit .170 in 37 games for Texas, but a much better .260 (with a .362 OBP) at Triple-A Round Rock, this season. He brings some speed to the Royals' organization — he stole 49 bases in 80 games for Round Rock last year.

Thompson played all three outfield positions for the Rangers and made only one error in 126 chances over the 2022 and 2023 seasons. He owns a .269/.330/.438 six-year minor league career line and a .242/.286/.305 big league line.

He's now on KC's 40-man roster.

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