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Storylines: Royals add some pop, acquire Willingham

Storylines: Royals add some pop, acquire Willingham
Minnesota Twins' Josh Willingham (Ben Margot/Associated Press)
August 12, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.

Here are the stories from Monday, Aug. 11. 

Top Stories:

  • The Royals acquired Josh Willingham from the Twins, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. The Twins received right-hander Jason Adam, per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. Willingham was claimed by Kansas City off revocable waivers, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The veteran outfielder is owed $1.836 million for the last 48 days of the season, Berardino further reported. The right-handed hitter, 35, is set to reach free agency following the season and will therefore be a pure rental for the Royals. He has posted a .210/.345/.402 slash with 12 home runs through 278 plate appearances on the season after spending time on the DL early on.

Tribe News:

  • Cleveland righty Corey Kluber's WAR (via fangraphs) of 5.2 ranks second overall in the Majors behind only Seattle's Felix Hernandez (6.1). Jordan Bastian of also noted that Kluber has a 2.00 ERA since May 1, a 1.96 ERA since June 1, a 1.33 ERA since July 1 and a 0.68 ERA in August. 

News and Notes:

  • The Tigers have "kicked around" the idea of trading for a hitter to bolster the back end of their lineup, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported. Finding a quality bat will be more difficult in the August waiver period, of course, and there also isn't any position that Detroit would clearly be looking to upgrade. Rosenthal stated the team is "pretty much set in the outfield."
  • Ken Rosenthal also reported that some of Jon Lester's former teammates believe the southpaw will sign with the Cubs this offseason. Lester, of course, has ties to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, and the Cubs' recent waiver claim of Cole Hamels indicates that the team is prepared to spend big money on a top-tier starting pitcher.
  • Though Daniel Nava has yet to be placed on waivers, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, he's already begun to draw trade interest from the Royals and Tigers as the AL Central frontrunners each search for a bat to add to their lineup.
  • If the Marlins are unable to extend Giancarlo Stanton and decide to trade the slugger, John Tomase of the Boston Herald feels "no team is better positioned" than the Red Sox to procure Stanton's services given the number of top-flight prospects in Boston's farm system. The Sox could add a Major League piece to the mix as well in Yoenis Cespedes, though he'd have limited value to Miami given that he can opt out of his contract after the 2015 season.
  • The Nationals are clearly in the process of running much of their roster through waivers, as USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that shortstop Ian Desmond and left-hander Gio Gonzalez both cleared revocable trade waivers. Ace Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper were both claimed on waivers and subsequently pulled back, Nightengale added.
  • Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson and left-hander Jon Niese cleared revocable waivers and are now eligible to be traded to any club, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. ESPN's Jayson Stark reported last week that Granderson had been placed on revocable waivers.
  • Ben Cherington said the Red Sox "haven't gotten to" the stage of exploring a contract extension for closer Koji Uehara, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reported, though they'll broach the topic in October.
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.'s offensive struggles have gotten to the point that's Alex Speier wondered about his long-term future with the Sox. While Bradley hit in the minors and was a heralded prospect entering the season, Speier found little historical evidence to suggest that Bradley will be able to recover from his poor start and eventually become a decent hitter at the Major League level.
  • Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported that the Orioles aren't interested in bringing back longtime second baseman Brian Roberts, who was recently released by the Yankees.
  • The Padres designated outfielder Jeff Francoeur for assignment to clear room for top prospect Rymer Liriano's promotion, according to Marty Caswell of 1090 radio in San Diego.

User Comments

August 13, 2014 - 4:19 AM EDT
What was the money that Willingham was owed? Even if the "unwritten" rule about not blocking wasn't in place, there is the risk of absorbing the salary if he was still owed a bit and if the Twins wanted they could just give him up to save the money. And then you are stuck with a guy on your team that is already filled with old over the hill guys.
August 13, 2014 - 4:15 AM EDT
I think the Tribe had first dibs on Willingham so I guess the "addled" Tribe FO didn't need to be saved from themselves.
August 12, 2014 - 11:40 AM EDT
Willingham kills the A's, hits very well against the Indians as well. With Hosmer out, and Butler playing first, KC could use a DH that can hit a home run every once in a while. He's beyond prime, yes, but still has some pop and if he gets got into the playoffs he could be a difference maker. As for Robin Williams, pretty amazing everyone from FOX to MSNBC changed their programming all night last night in tribute to a man whose work on earth touched so many from different walks of life at a subconscious level. I met him at Comic Relief and worked out with him at World Gym in Marin in the early 90's. He was definitely manic in his compulsion to entertain and cheer people, but he had a heart of gold. Perhaps he was trying to stay one step ahead of his sorrows, yesterday they overtook him. RIP Robin, God has called a good soldier home
August 12, 2014 - 10:39 AM EDT
I don't get the hub bub over Willingham. The Royals can gladly have him. Maybe I am wrong, but I think he does more harm than good for them.
August 12, 2014 - 10:32 AM EDT
How they let WIllingham go without even putting a claim to block the Royals is bizarre. I'm typically not a big time Front Office basher, but this move is insane. You don't have to trade for him if you don't feel like adding him, which they clearly didn't, but you at least put the claim in to block the teams ahead of you from getting any better. When Shapiro said the Masty/Asdrubal trades were not "the white flag of surrender" he may have been telling the truth. But allowing Willingham to go unclaimed to the Royals absolutely is the white flag of surrender. The FO has given up on this season.
August 12, 2014 - 8:00 AM EDT
Yeah Nick, see my comment in Tony's Happenings article. Antonetti should be on the phones now
Nick S
August 12, 2014 - 7:50 AM EDT
Go after Jon Niese. Signed thru 2018 and a left hand starting pitcher. From Defiance ohio, same school as Kime, and chad billingsley. .
C L Who
August 12, 2014 - 2:32 AM EDT
I am ecstatic that the Royals signed Willingham.....otherwise a possibly addled Tribe FO might have done so! Close call!

Poor Royals.....Willingham will give them nothing while taking up a valuable roster spot.

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