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Royals ink Asche, Broadway on Minors deals

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have signed two veterans to Minor League deals, including third baseman/outfielder Cody Asche, who made the White Sox Opening Day roster last season.

The Royals also signed 30-year-old right-hander Mike Broadway, an original fourth-round pick of the Braves in 2005 who made some mechanical changes in the Tampa Bay system last year, according to scouts, and increased his velocity from the low 90s to 95-98.

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have signed two veterans to Minor League deals, including third baseman/outfielder Cody Asche, who made the White Sox Opening Day roster last season.

The Royals also signed 30-year-old right-hander Mike Broadway, an original fourth-round pick of the Braves in 2005 who made some mechanical changes in the Tampa Bay system last year, according to scouts, and increased his velocity from the low 90s to 95-98.

Broadway pitched in 25 games for the Giants from 2015-16 and posted a 6.75 ERA. He could be in the mix for a bullpen spot for the Royals.

Hot Stove Tracker

Asche, 27, came up through the Phillies' system and played parts of four seasons with them. He hit 12 homers with 22 doubles in 2015. Last season with the White Sox, he hit .105 through 19 games before being sent out.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals, Cody Asche, Mike Broadway

Royals prep for potential rebuild at Meetings

Moore keeping his options open, fields calls from other clubs
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Laying the groundwork for a total rebuild.

That would best describe how Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his staff spent their four days at the Winter Meetings.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Laying the groundwork for a total rebuild.

That would best describe how Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his staff spent their four days at the Winter Meetings.

Moore exchanged countless calls and texts with rival general managers as he attempts to restock the farm system and build for the future by potentially dealing some of his most desired assets -- that would include left-handers Danny Duffy and Scott Alexander, second baseman Whit Merrifield and right-hander Kelvin Herrera, among others.

KC adds pair of high picks in Rule 5 Draft

Virtually anyone on the roster is available, though the Royals seem hesitant to move All-Star and Gold Glove catcher Salvador Perez.

"We have to build up our farm system to the level it was in 2010," Moore said.

Moore, whose teams went to back-to-back World Series in 2014 and '15 -- winning the championship in '15 -- expects the Royals to be contenders again by 2020 or '21.

What's next
Making the deals. It's not uncommon for the Royals to leave the Winter Meetings without making a major deal. Their two biggest deals under Moore -- the Zack Greinke trade in 2010 and the James Shields-Wade Davis deal in '12 -- came right after the Meetings.

"We often view the Winter Meetings as kind of a feeling-out period," Moore said. "You're trying to see who you match up with the best. We had a lot of conversations with other teams, we met with a lot of other teams. The deals will come when you're comfortable with what you're getting."

Hot Stove Tracker

The Royals, along with trading assets, are trying to shave payroll as well. The payroll right now stands at about $115 million. Moore said it will not go any higher than that and he would prefer to shave it more.

It is likely the club will try to move right-handers Jason Hammel (owed $11 million) and Joakim Soria (owed $10 million) at some point as well.

Rule 5
While the Royals passed with their selection at No. 13, they later acquired the Reds' No. 5 pick, right-hander Brad Keller, and the Mets' No. 6 pick, right-hander Burch Smith, both for cash ($100,000 each).

Video: Mayo discusses the Royals' Rule 5 selections

GM's bottom line
Moore on potentially trading some of his talented players:

"Those are the guys you have to move to multiply the return for our farm system. Everything we do has to be centered around building our farm system. Any deal we do has to be predicated on will it save us money and will it get back players to build our farm system. You have to trade players with high value to get maximum return."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals

KC adds pair of high picks in Rule 5 Draft

Royals send cash to Reds (No. 5), Mets (No. 6) for righties Keller, Smith
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Royals did not leave the Winter Meetings empty-handed.

While the Royals did not make any trades or free-agent signings, they were active in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, acquiring the Reds' No. 5 pick, right-hander Brad Keller, and the Mets' No. 6 pick, right-hander Burch Smith, both for cash ($100,000 each). The Royals passed with their selection at No. 13.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Royals did not leave the Winter Meetings empty-handed.

While the Royals did not make any trades or free-agent signings, they were active in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, acquiring the Reds' No. 5 pick, right-hander Brad Keller, and the Mets' No. 6 pick, right-hander Burch Smith, both for cash ($100,000 each). The Royals passed with their selection at No. 13.

Both players must remain on the 25-man roster the entire season or be offered back to their original club -- Keller (Arizona) and Smith (Tampa Bay).

:: Rule 5 Draft coverage ::

The Royals did not lose anyone in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

Royals assistant general manager of baseball operations Scott Sharp said Keller is a possible starter, and Smith could be a power reliever.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Keller was an 8th-round pick in 2013 out of Flowery Branch High School in Georgia. The 22-year-old went 10-9 with a 4.68 ERA in Double-A last year and had 111 strikeouts in 130 2/3 innings.

Keller was the D-backs' No. 12 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com.

"He is a high upside pitcher who can start," Sharp said. "We had him ranked among the top two picks for this Draft."

Smith, 27, was an 11th-round pick by the Padres in 2011 out of the University of Oklahoma. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder later was dealt to Tampa Bay in the Wil Myers trade.

Smith also missed 2015-16 because of Tommy John surgery but dominated at Class A Advanced and Triple-A last season, posting a 2.40 ERA and striking out 56 in 56 1/3 innings.

"He is the most advanced guy in the Draft," Sharp said. "Can get up to a 100 [mph]. Power stuff. Good changeup. Can go multiple innings or late-inning guy -- a variety of stuff.

"He has had some injuries in his past, but nothing we weren't comfortable with."

The Royals also took right-hander Daniel Duarte from Texas in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 Draft. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Duarte went 6-1 with a 1.96 ERA in 37 relief outings last season in the Mexican League (on loan from the Rangers).

"Throws three pitches, throws strikes," Royals Minor League director Ronnie Richardson said. "Our scouts liked him. We're excited to have him."

The Royals lost right-hander Andrew Ferguson from Double-A Northwest Arkansas to Boston and infielder Wander Franco from Class A Wilmington to San Francisco in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals, Brad Keller, Burch Smith

Royals field calls, lay groundwork at Meetings

Moore says talks with clubs may lead to deals this offseason
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Royals continued to draw strong interest from rival clubs for their available players, including Danny Duffy, on Day 3 of the Winter Meetings on Wednesday.

Calls and texts were coming in for Whit Merrifield, Scott Alexander and Kelvin Herrera as well.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Royals continued to draw strong interest from rival clubs for their available players, including Danny Duffy, on Day 3 of the Winter Meetings on Wednesday.

Calls and texts were coming in for Whit Merrifield, Scott Alexander and Kelvin Herrera as well.

Hosmer touted for 'prestige value'

The Royals are not believed to have had any teams express interest in All-Star and Gold Glove catcher Salvador Perez, likely because the asking price would be too high.

Kansas City doesn't seem anxious to move Perez, either.

"Not really," general manager Dayton Moore said.

The Royals also seem open to eventually unloading the contracts of right-handers Jason Hammel (owed $11 million) and Joakim Soria (owed $10 million). But those deals aren't likely to happen soon and likely will require the club to send money in the deals if they do happen.

It would appear the Royals could leave here without any trades coming to fruition. Nothing appears imminent, Moore said.

Hot Stove Tracker

"We've done very few deals at the Winter Meetings," Moore said. "But we've done quite a few deals afterward. You lay the groundwork here. That's what we do.

"We had a lot of discussions with teams today. We met with some teams. We're explaining what we're trying to do."

Video: MLB Tonight: Moore accepts challenge of rebuilding

The Royals have made it clear they are in for a full rebuild, meaning virtually anyone on their roster is available. What the club wants in return are controllable players to restock the farm system, likely in the 19-to-22-year-old range.

"You have to be very strategic in what you want in return," Moore said."If you get what you want in return, it's OK. Otherwise, it's a bird in hand [thing].

"You want a [prospect's] talent that blends in with the next wave of young players we have. That's when you make the move."

Tweet from @duffkc41: Bury me a Royal.

Dealing players such as Duffy, Hammel, Herrera and Soria would shave payroll, something else Moore is determined to do as he hopes to bank resources for the next run at being a contender, which he seems to be targeting for 2020.

But teams seem to be cautious right now in terms of spending, Moore said.

"I think what happens is that everyone feels compelled to go through the process and filter through who you match up with the best," Moore said. "And I think that a lot of the teams are going through the economics where the dollar sign attached to the player is an issue, maybe more so than in recent years."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals

The latest on the Hosmer market

Free agent first baseman has been linked to Padres
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer has been linked to the Padres this week, but his agent, Scott Boras, would not comment directly on those rumors as he addressed reporters on a variety of topics at the Winter Meetings.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore has said he is still holding out hope that Kansas City could possibly re-sign Hosmer, even though the team is in rebuilding mode.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer has been linked to the Padres this week, but his agent, Scott Boras, would not comment directly on those rumors as he addressed reporters on a variety of topics at the Winter Meetings.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore has said he is still holding out hope that Kansas City could possibly re-sign Hosmer, even though the team is in rebuilding mode.

Tweet from @FlannyMLB: Scott Boras is addressing the media here at the Winter Meetings. pic.twitter.com/rYdtpprC2W

The Padres also are in rebuilding mode. But Boras said Hosmer would be a fit for any team, contender or not.

Video: Justice on Padres' interest in acquiring Hosmer

"When you have players that are young free agents and leaders and have that prestige value that have done everything, really, as a player, and you can do it at a young age, the demand is great," Boras said. "Everybody looks at this from, 'I can use him if I'm a now team, I can use him if I'm a team a year from now, or I can use him if I'm a team that is building something years from now.' His glove fits all teams."

Hot Stove Tracker

As he did at the General Managers Meetings last month, Boras also continues to sell Hosmer to potential buyers on his "prestige value," or "PV."

"We know that with players from clubs, everywhere you talk, every meeting you have, they know of the skill level of the player. But when the player has prestige value, it brings tremendous value to his [Wins Above Replacement]," Boras said. "So when we talk about WAR, we put the PV to it. There are minus players that have minus PV. And there are players that have Major League standard prestige value, and players that have a well-above-average or elite prestige value.

"And certainly, when you're a champion at 25; you've won major playoff games; you get key hits when your club is down, 7-3, in the postseason; they end up winning those games; you make elite mental moves on every level of the sport … you are there to console, to speak for your organization when they have a tragic event -- both for the players' family [and] the fan base for which he's playing for -- and you also have the result -- the result is that proven prestige value, is when you have a ring on your finger. And you set the tone."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals, Eric Hosmer

Royals weigh options on Day 2 of Meetings

Moore planning on discussions with Boras about Hosmer
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Teams continued to check in on the Royals' available trade candidates on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings on Tuesday.

Reports surfaced that the Yankees and Cubs inquired about left-handers Danny Duffy and Scott Alexander. It is believed the Rockies also may have inquired about reliever Kelvin Herrera as well.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Teams continued to check in on the Royals' available trade candidates on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings on Tuesday.

Reports surfaced that the Yankees and Cubs inquired about left-handers Danny Duffy and Scott Alexander. It is believed the Rockies also may have inquired about reliever Kelvin Herrera as well.

Expect more of the same on Wednesday as teams around baseball now know the Royals are committing to a virtual total rebuild.

Royals' farm system is priority at Meetings

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said on Monday he would entertain offers on virtually anyone on the 25-man roster, though he seemed to hesitate when asked about catcher Salvador Perez, saying that it seemed unlikely the return for Perez would ever be acceptable.

Meanwhile, Moore continues to purvey offers on other players including Duffy, Alexander, Herrera and perhaps second baseman Whit Merrifield.

Moore said no deals appeared imminent. But the Royals often view the Winter Meetings as a stepping stone to making deals shortly thereafter, as they did with the Zack Greinke deal in 2010 and the James Shields-Wade Davis trade in '12.

"Just looking at different situations [now]," Moore said.

Hot Stove Tracker

Moore also said he doesn't have plans to speak to his one targeted free agent, first baseman Eric Hosmer, personally as they wait for the market on Hosmer to take shape.

"I don't know if it's necessary," Moore said. "We've talked in the past.

"We'll continue to have discussions [with Hosmer's agent Scott Boras]. That's how Scott and I have managed it in the past."

But signing Hosmer seemingly remains a long shot. For one thing, there were reports that talks between Hosmer and the Padres were heating up.

And also, Moore remains committed to either containing payroll or trimming it. The Royals have about $115 million in payroll commitments right now.

"We certainly can't go above that," Moore said. "I'd like to scale back as much as we could."

Yet, Moore still believes they could do a Hosmer deal.

"We would have to shave payroll elsewhere if that were to happen," he said. "But it could be done."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals

Starling may be in Royals' center-field mix

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As the Royals' front office ponders position scenarios for 2018, it knows replacing free-agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain will be a tall order.

"It's an important position, especially in our ballpark," general manager Dayton Moore said on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. "We always want to build as much depth as we can there. We have Paulo Orlando. We have Billy Burns.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As the Royals' front office ponders position scenarios for 2018, it knows replacing free-agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain will be a tall order.

"It's an important position, especially in our ballpark," general manager Dayton Moore said on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. "We always want to build as much depth as we can there. We have Paulo Orlando. We have Billy Burns.

"And Bubba Starling, we believe in his ability to stay positive. He'll start the season in Triple-A. But we wouldn't hesitate [to bring him up] if he got off to a good start. Depending on what's going on, he's an option as well."

Royals relatively quiet on Day 2 of Meetings

Starling, 25, was a first-round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, but he has struggled mightily offensively in the Minors. He has a career .690 OPS in six seasons. He hit a combined .183 in '16 and then .248 last season at Triple-A Omaha.

But Moore said he still envisions Starling as a future Major Leaguer.

"We do," Moore said. "We're not going to rush this process. We haven't thus far. We will continue to stay patient. We know he can play a terrific center field. We've seen other players like Byron Buxton who came up and took their lumps offensively, but played great defense. We've got our own players who did that.

Hot Stove Tracker

"He's still a player we see as part of our future."

The Royals also will use Gold Glove left fielder Alex Gordon in center field at times as well, Moore said.

"We'll mix and match," Moore said.

But while Moore said they could sign a bargain free-agent outfielder for depth, it likely won't be former Royal Jarrod Dyson.

"Not at this point," Moore said.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals, Bubba Starling

Yost 'feeling better every day' after injury

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Royals manager Ned Yost, recovering from a fractured pelvis, is not in attendance at the Winter Meetings.

But Yost told club officials on Monday that he is "feeling better every day."

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Royals manager Ned Yost, recovering from a fractured pelvis, is not in attendance at the Winter Meetings.

But Yost told club officials on Monday that he is "feeling better every day."

Yost also indicated he is eager for a doctor's checkup next Monday to determine his healing progress.

Yost remains doubtful in terms of attending Royals Fan Fest in late January, but he remains hopeful that he will be ready for Spring Training in February.

Video: Yost discusses the severity of his pelvis injury

Yost sustained the injury when he fell 20 feet from a deer stand near his home in Georgia. Yost said later he could have died from the injuries had he not had his cell phone with him.

"I would have bled out by nightfall," Yost said after the injury.

Yost was Life Flighted to a nearby hospital. And a surgeon later told Yost he nearly bled out on the operating table as well because the injury was so severe.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals

KC gifts KU Hospital with dugout-themed room

Being in a waiting room can be stressful for a variety of reasons. Sure, there might be a stack of magazines on the table to help pass the time and some daytime television could be in order, but what if you wanted more?

Thanks to the Royals and their Royals Charities, visitors to the University of Kansas Hospital will be able to fully immerse themselves in a waiting area inspired by the look and feel of a Major League dugout. It's pretty great:

Unpopular '12 trade sets up KC for Series win

GM Moore dealt 3 prospects to acquire Shields, Davis just after 2012 Meetings
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- In the final hours of the 2012 Winter Meetings in Nashville, Royals general manager Dayton Moore huddled with his top scouts and front-office lieutenants in a suite at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

There had been a trade offer on the table for more than a day, a deal that would require Moore to commit to the future and no doubt draw criticism from a frustrated fan base and a skeptical national media.

KANSAS CITY -- In the final hours of the 2012 Winter Meetings in Nashville, Royals general manager Dayton Moore huddled with his top scouts and front-office lieutenants in a suite at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

There had been a trade offer on the table for more than a day, a deal that would require Moore to commit to the future and no doubt draw criticism from a frustrated fan base and a skeptical national media.

Moore had taken over the job to rebuild the Royals' organization in 2006, and by now he felt in is heart it was time to push forward. The trade that would do that sat in front of him.

"We had spent years building one of the top farm systems in baseball," Moore recalled. "But it was definitely time to start winning at the big league level. A great farm system is nice to have, but the whole point of it is to help your team win at the big league level. That's where we were."

The Royals hadn't had a winning season since 2003, and Moore was convinced his team was just one or two players away from becoming a winner and a contender. Prospects such as Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain had reached the Major Leagues but had yet to mature into winners.

So Moore examined the offer from the Tampa Bay Rays: pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis (and later infielder Elliot Johnson) to the Royals for top prospect Wil Myers, pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery, as well as outfielder Patrick Leonard.

Moore knew if he could just get one frontline starting pitcher and another with frontline potential, he could transform his team into a winner. Plus, Shields had the reputation of being a strong clubhouse presence who could guide young players into winners.

Moore wanted the deal. But he listened to his advisors.

Moore was ready for the push-back. In building a top-notch farm system for years, Moore had given the Royals' fan base hope in the potential of such players as Myers and Montgomery. That precious farm system was the reason Royals fans and bloggers had reason to believe in the future, after years of losing seasons.

But Moore didn't buy into the romanticism of the farm system.

"You don't win anything with a great farm system," Moore said. "You have to use that farm system to make you better at the big league level, pure and simple."

Moore's inclination was to make the deal. But even his own people were highly skeptical that night in Nashville, Tenn. No one wanted to part with Myers, the team's top prospect, a can't-miss player.

That's when Moore walked to a chalkboard in his hotel suite, a chalkboard that had nearly a hundred names of Royals prospects written on it by order of position and ranking.

Moore erased the names of Myers, Montgomery, Leonard and Odorizzi. He then turned to his troops and said, "What are the odds we can replace these guys? I mean, it's not like they have abolished the Draft. We can reload next year and the year after that, right?"

The men in the room looked at each other, perplexed at first. Though not entirely convinced, mainly because they had spent more than six years rebuilding one of the worst farm systems in baseball into one of the best, they began to nod in agreement over Moore's reasoning.

Moore decided to sit on the idea of the trade until after they left Nashville, but 48 hours later, he decided to make the deal.

"At that point, where we were, we needed to take the next step," Moore said. "We needed to start winning at the big league level, and we needed to learn how to win. We brought guys in who knew how to win. And it was time for our young players to start believing they could win. Quite frankly, we had to make that next move."

Video: LAA@KC Gm3: Shields fans six, holds Halos to two runs

And that is exactly what happened. The 2013 Royals won 86 games -- their first winning season in 10 years -- and stayed in the postseason hunt until the final two weeks of the season.

Shields was a big part of it. He went 13-9 and made 34 starts, tied for the MLB high. He threw 228 2/3 innings, and more importantly, he helped to change the culture in the clubhouse.

"We started to believe how fantastic it was to win games," Hosmer said. "We believed how important winning was. Big Game James brought in the disco lights and smoke machine to celebrate each win in the clubhouse, and we really bought in to that concept. It was like each night was winning the World Series. We needed to know that."

The skeptics remained, however. National columnists insisted the Royals got robbed in the trade, and a local blogger even suggested that the Royals gave up everything to be "mediocre."

Moore himself was lampooned by local newspaper columnists, bloggers and talk-show hosts for suggesting after 2013 that finally getting a winning season "felt like winning a World Series."

But the critics were silenced a year later when Shields and Davis, the latter of whom transitioned to the bullpen and posted a 1.00 ERA and later evolved into one of baseball's top closers, helped push the Royals to Game 7 of the World Series against the Giants. A year after that, the Royals won their first World Series championship in 30 years.

Video: WS2015 Gm5: Davis gets final three outs as Royals win

At least for a while, the critics were mum.

"When we did the Zack Greinke trade in 2010 for Cain and Escobar," Moore said, "that was the pathway to where we got. But the Shields trade pushed us over the edge. It was a deal we had to make.

"And history will prove it was the right deal to make."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals, Wade Davis, Mike Montgomery, Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, James Shields

Salvy crucial component to Royals' success

All-Star catcher has ability to impact game with bat, glove
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- As the Royals ponder a possible rebuild in 2018 and beyond, there is one rock solid piece who will be vital next season: catcher Salvador Perez.

"The truth is," one rival scout said, "the Royals are not the same team when Salvy isn't there. He has a presence on defense and at the plate."

KANSAS CITY -- As the Royals ponder a possible rebuild in 2018 and beyond, there is one rock solid piece who will be vital next season: catcher Salvador Perez.

"The truth is," one rival scout said, "the Royals are not the same team when Salvy isn't there. He has a presence on defense and at the plate."

Fans saw that last season. When Perez was sidelined because of an intercostal strain in August, the Royals, who had been in the hunt for an American League Wild Card spot, lost considerable ground and went 6-9 in his absence.

"There's no doubt what kind of impact Salvy has for us," manager Ned Yost said this summer. "His bat is a big part of our lineup. And he can do so many things defensively that help us."

It's indeed true that Perez, 27, who signed a five-year, $52.5 million extension in 2016, is a major force in the Royals' lineup. Scouts continue to see him as an ascending player.

Video: SEA@KC: Perez picks off Dyson to end the frame

Perez had won four straight AL Gold Glove Awards before losing out to the Angels' Martin Maldonado this season. But Perez remains one of the top defensive catchers in baseball and, if he remains healthy, likely is a Hall of Fame candidate.

Perez continues to improve at the plate as well. He posted a .792 OPS in 2017, his highest since 2012. He also posted career highs in home runs (27) and RBIs (80).

Backup catcher Drew Butera marvels at Perez's skill set.

"You just don't find many catchers who can do all the things he can do offensively and defensively," Butera said this summer. "It's pretty special to watch him every day."

Perez's presence especially will be important as the Royals ponder that possible rebuild.

Video: KC@DET: Perez smacks two homers against the Tigers

Perez likely will move up in the middle of the order and hit perhaps cleanup in the absence of free agents Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain.

"What Salvy has shown is that he can change a game with one swing," Yost noted. "You just never know what you'll get when he is at the plate, and if you're in a close game, opposing pitchers have to be careful with him -- one mistake can cost you the game. We've seen that time and time again."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals, Salvador Perez

Morin claimed off waivers by Mariners

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals on Friday lost right-hander Mike Morin, who was claimed off outright waivers by the Mariners.

Kansas City had claimed Morin off waivers in September, and he was ineffective in six games with the club, posting a 7.94 ERA in six appearances.

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals on Friday lost right-hander Mike Morin, who was claimed off outright waivers by the Mariners.

Kansas City had claimed Morin off waivers in September, and he was ineffective in six games with the club, posting a 7.94 ERA in six appearances.

Morin, 26, had signed a one-year deal with the Royals one week ago.

Kansas City's 40-man roster now sits at 38.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals, Mike Morin

KC signs righty Barlow to one-year deal

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals added to their pitching depth on Thursday by signing right-hander Scott Barlow to a one-year, $900,000 deal.

Barlow, 24, was a sixth-round pick of the Dodgers in the 2011 Draft out of a Santa Clarita, Calif., high school. According to a source, his deal is a split contract: $650,000 at the big league level and $225,000 at the Minor League level.

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals added to their pitching depth on Thursday by signing right-hander Scott Barlow to a one-year, $900,000 deal.

Barlow, 24, was a sixth-round pick of the Dodgers in the 2011 Draft out of a Santa Clarita, Calif., high school. According to a source, his deal is a split contract: $650,000 at the big league level and $225,000 at the Minor League level.

Barlow, who is 6-foot-3 and weighs 215 pounds, was 7-6 with a 3.29 ERA in 26 starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City and Double-A Tulsa last season, with 160 strikeouts in 139 2/3 innings last season.

The Royals' 40-man roster now sits at 39.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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