Player News - Royals

Date: Team: Pos:

Royals manager Ned Yost said he's hoping to get 500-plus at-bats for Jorge Soler, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Jorge Bonifacio in 2018.

The rebuilding club wants to see what they have with all three. Soler carries the most name recognition, but he's coming off a rough first season with the Royals where he batted .144/.245/.258 over 110 plate appearances. However, the opportunity will be there in 2018 and he worked hard over the winter while losing 20 pounds. Yost sees Soler getting at-bats out of the DH spot and the corner outfield spots.
Feb 19 - 12:28 PM

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Royals plan to stay pat and go into their rebuild and will not pursue any marquee free agents.

That announcement came on the heels of Eric Hosmer spurning their offer to sign with the Padres late Saturday. There has been speculation that Kansas City could still be open to a reunion with Mike Moustakas since his market has dried up, but this report casts doubt on that.
Feb 18 - 7:20 PM

Brandon Maurer lost his arbitration case and will make $2.95 million in 2018.

Maurer had requested $3.5 million from the Royals. The reliever saved 22 games last season for the Padres and Royals but held an ugly 6.52 ERA across 59 1/3 innings.
Feb 16 - 1:17 PM

Nate Karns (thoracic outlet syndrome) is not under any restrictions at the start of spring training.

Karns' 2017 season ended when he had thoracic outlet surgery last July, but he's on the same schedule as the other Royals pitchers at the start of camp. The right-hander will compete for a spot in the rotation.
Feb 16 - 12:35 PM

Royals manager Ned Yost said Wednesday that Hunter Dozier's focus early in camp will be on first base.

"He'll take a lot of ground balls there," Yost said. "We bounced him around a lot last year. But we're going to concentrate with him at first base early." Dozier was drafted as a shortstop in 2013, but quickly moved over to third base and has also played in the outfield. The only pure first baseman on the Royals' 40-man roster is Samir Duenez, a 22-year-old prospect who hasn't played above Double-A. It sounds like Dozier has a real chance of being the Royals' everyday first baseman to start the 2018 season, assuming they are unable to re-sign Eric Hosmer.
Feb 14 - 4:30 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Yankees and free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas have had "occasional contact" in recent days.

Nothing has been ruled out, but a match is still considered a "long shot," as the Yankees are concerned about the luxury-tax threshold and losing a draft pick. Moving Jacoby Ellsbury would create some wiggle room, though there's nothing to indicate anything is close there. Any deal with Moustakas would have to be a short-term one, as the Yankees have Miguel Andujar in the pipeline and could also make a run at Manny Machado next offseason. Moustakas would be in a great situation if he lands in the Bronx, but he could still hold out for a longer deal. Of course, his market has been so quiet that it's unclear how much leverage he has here.
Feb 13 - 2:46 PM

Craig Mish of Sirius XM confirms that the Marlins have spoken with free agent outfielders Melky Cabrera and Jon Jay.

This backs up recent reports from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Joe Frisaro of Mish hears that Cabrera wants two years, but the rebuilding Marlins would prefer a one-year commitment for either. If they end up signing one of them, they will almost certainly become trade bait around midseason.
Feb 13 - 12:53 PM

The Royals and Brandon Maurer have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Barring a last-minute agreement, it will be the first hearing under Dayton Moore's tenure as Royals' GM. Maurer, who was acquired midseason last year, requested $3.5 million and was offered $2.95 million by the Royals when arbitration figures were exchanged a month ago. The arbitration panel will rule for one salary or the other for the 2018 season.
Feb 12 - 2:33 PM

Joe Frisaro of reports that the Marlins are looking to add another outfielder through free agency.

The Marlins are woefully thin in the outfield after dealing away their entire starting outfield from a season ago this winter (Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcel Ozuna). Frisaro mentions Melky Cabrera, Jon Jay and Jose Bautista as possible targets. All are players who would presumably come in on a one-year deal with the potential to be flipped at the trade deadline.
Feb 11 - 6:59 PM

Royals signed RHP Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Boyer, 36, posted a 4.35 ERA in 32 appearances for the Red Sox last season, with 33 strikeouts and 14 walks in 41 1/3 innings. He's appeared in 426 games over his 11-year career, almost all of them as a middle-reliever. Boyer should have a decent chance of making the Royals' major league bullpen out of camp, assuming he pitches up to his best abilities during spring training.
Feb 7 - 6:06 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Yankees "like" Mike Moustakas and "did speak about him" last week.

However, Heyman throws cold water on the possibility of "Moose" winding up with the Yankees, noting that it's hard to see them fitting him onto their payroll while still leaving room for the addition of a pitcher and possible midseason trade. We can't rule anything out in this weird free agent market, though. Landing in the Bronx would be a best-case scenario for Moustakas' fantasy value.
Feb 5 - 4:54 PM

Jorge Soler lost 20 pounds during the offseason due to an improved diet.

Things didn't go according to plan for Soler after coming over from the Cubs in the Wade Davis trade, but he's been hard at work over the winter. Not only has he improved his conditioning, but he's been working with hitting coach Mike Tosar to retool his swing and improve his timing. "I had an awful season," Soler told Maria Torres of the Kansas City Star. "Things went fine in the minor leagues but not in the big leagues. Obviously there were things I was doing wrong. I needed to make adjustments. … I don’t know how it’ll translate to the field but in the cage there’s an incredible change. I’ve never felt this way." While he's largely off the radar in standard mixed fantasy leagues, Soler should have an opportunity to redeem himself in 2018. He's the epitome of a post-hype sleeper.
Feb 5 - 12:37 PM

According to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Cardinals are unlikely to sign Mike Moustakas unless his asking price drops significantly.

It's astounding that Moustakas still sits on the free agent market looking for a home on February 4, but welcome to the 2017-2018 offseason. The Cardinals seem content to roll with a combination of Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter at third base while Carpenter and Jose Martinez share the load at first base. There still seems to be no ideal landing spot for Moustakas as spring training approaches.
Feb 4 - 11:50 PM

Royals signed INF Jose Sermo to a minor league contract.

The 26-year-old spent the last two seasons in the Red Sox' organization before being released in January. Sermo hit .250/.322/.451 with 14 homers, 58 RBI and eight stolen bases at High-A Salem in 2017.
Feb 4 - 4:11 PM

According to FanRag's Jon Heyman, the Orioles, Royals, Marlins and Pirates are among teams looking at free agent Melky Cabrera.

Cabrera has been a pretty consistent bat, but the defense just keeps getting worse and he's been a real asset just two of the last five seasons. He'd make more sense as a fourth outfielder and part-time DH than as a starter going forward.
Feb 1 - 7:09 PM

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