Baseball America put out a list of minor league free agents on Tuesday and while most names aren’t likely to interest people, there are quite a few names with past links to the Royals.
First the Royals free agents list is the following
RHP: Pedro Fernandez (AAA), Luis Hernandez (R), Yimaury Pena (R), Jose Veras (Hi A), Kyle Zimmer(AAA)
LHP: Sam Selman (AAA)
C: Parker Morin (AAA), Luis Villegas (AAA)
2B: Ramon Torres (AAA)
3B: Alex Liddi (AA)
SS: Jack Lopez (AAA)
OF: Billy Burns (AAA), Alfredo Escalera (AA), Paulo Orlando (AAA)
I would expect to see the departures of Orlando, Burns and Sam Selman from the organization. In regards to Selman, I’ve heard so many scouts that like his stuff and think he’s got a shot at a major league career, but the Royals have never made the leap in giving him a look. It’s time for his agent to give him an opportunity to succeed somewhere else.
Others with links to the Royals:
Sam Lewis RHP, traded by the Royals for Peter O’Brien. Struggled at Double-A this past season.
Rey Fuentes OF, received an extended look by the D-Backs last season and didn’t hit to what some thought was his capabilities. Likely will kick around the minor leagues as an emergency corner guy as he rides out the prime of his career.
2017 reliever Neftali Feliz is also a minor league free agent after completing his first year without a major league appearance since 2008.
Lane Adams – Former Royals draftee has had his greatest stretch with the Braves and seems like a good fit to resign there.
Casey Coleman – Brief appearance with the Royals in ’14 has struggled the past two seasons.
Terrance Gore – Now that he’s a minor league free agent Gore will likely sign minor league contracts with contenders in hopes to reprise his playoff role as a pinch runner.
Former Royals draftee Kevin Chapman is a free agent going into his age 31 season.
Chicago White Sox
Patrick Leonard was part of the Wade Davis/James Shields trade way back when but entering his 26-year-old season may want to consider a career in the far east.
John Lamb is a former #11 BP overall prospect, but the lefty hasn’t been able to show he can get major league hitters out on a regular basis in his 129.2 innings.
Buddy Baumann, after being signed by the Padres in free agency the lefty has had problems staying healthy. He flashed his talent in ’17 briefly at the major league level and will surely earn at least a minor league deal to reprise that level.
Once again Christian Colon will be a free agent.
Rey Navarro a middle infielder acquired for Carlos Rosa in 2010 has seen 10 games in the majors with the Baltimore Orioles back in 2015, but struggled this past year in the Yankees system.
St. Louis Cardinals
People aren’t likely to remember Edward Mujica‘s brief stint in Omaha prior to his season with Detroit and this past year with the Cardinals.
San Diego Padres
Very few Royals fans will forget the baserunning of Dusty Coleman during his brief appearance with the team in ’15. Luckily for him, he got a chance to amend that in ’17 with a 27 game stint for the Padres. Going into his 32-year-old season could make it difficult to catch on with a club as the game turns younger and younger.
Infielder Diego Goris, a former Idaho Falls Chukar in ’11 will also become a minor league free agent.
San Francisco Giants
Former million dollar international signee Orlando Calixte is a minor league free agent after 29 games in the majors with the Giants in 2017. The infielder continues to have solid power and limited on-base skills.
A year after being acquired in a trade with the M’s, Ashton Goudeau is a free agent.
Tampa Bay Rays
Mike Broadway was on the cusp of making the major league roster out of spring training last season.
The former mayor of Omaha, Irving Falu will turn 36 years old this year after another season in the minor leagues.
Intriguing Free Agents to Possibly Add
Mason Melotakis, an oft-injured lefty that can run a fastball into the low-90s next to his slider. The results in the minors have been decent when he’s managed to stay on the mound. A couple other names to watch have links to the Astros farm system with former pick Asher Wojciechowski, a starter who worked with the White Sox last year. Working mostly in the low 90s, Asher has a good slider that major league hitters have struggled against in limited competition who might have a role in the pen if not help out in a spot start duty while working mostly with Triple-A Omaha to add depth. The second name that could intrigue is Matt Ramsey, a relief pitcher who dominated with Fresno last season, allowing just a 1.13 WHIP in 33 appearances while striking out 54 in 47 innings. As is the case with Melotakis, this right-hander has had trouble staying healthy at times but when on the mound he’s been dominant and could be a pitcher the Royals want to give a preferred minor league deal with a peak at a spot in spring training.
Most of these players are looking at the twilight of their careers but there are always a couple of gems to find and the Royals have done a decent job of unearthing a few in the past. Here’s hoping they can do the same once again.
Featured Photo Irving Falu via Minda Haas Kuhlmann