The Kansas City Royals have signed RHP Kris Medlen to a two-year deal.
It’s a gamble I would’ve liked to see the Cubs make, and I’m a little bummed.
Medlen missed all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery (his second), but pitched very well for the Braves in 2012 and 2013. No guarantee on what kind of success he will have in 2015, and it sounds like Medlen won’t be ready until the second half of the season, according to Blair Kerkhoff from the Kansas City Star.
Kerkhoff says the Royals also are expected to sign RHP Edinson Volquez and outfielder Alex Rios. Kansas City was a blast to watch in the playoffs last year, but I wonder if they’ll be able to repeat the magic with the likely loss of their top starter, James Shields.
Kemp deal finalized
Just when it was looking like the Dodgers/Padres trade for outfielder Matt Kemp was going to fall through, the two sides were able to finalize it yesterday.
Earlier in the day yesterday, Bob Nightengale reported that the Padres were possibly having second thoughts after Kemp’s physical revealed arthritis in his hips.
And then Ken Rosenthal sent out a cryptic tweet stating that if the trade fell through, the Dodgers would respond “in strongest possible fashion.” Whatever that means.
But in the end, the deal was completed, with Kemp and catcher Tim Federowicz going to San Diego for catcher Yasmani Grandal and right-handed pitchers Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin.
With Kemp and newly acquired outfielder Wil Myers, the Padres actually have an interesting-looking offense. And adding to it, they pulled off a trade with Oakland for catcher Derek Norris. Norris brings on-base skills and a little pop behind the plate, but his defense leaves something to be desired.
Remember the one-game Wild Card playoff this year in which the Royals stole a playoff-record seven bases? Well, Norris was behind the plate, and even dropped a pitch-out (from Jason Hammel) at one point, which led to the winning run.
* The White Sox are reportedly going to bring in catcher George Kottaras on a minor league deal. Kottaras, if you remember, was acquired by the Cubs last off-season as the presumed back-up to Welington Castillo. However, John Baker ended up winning the job in Spring Training and Kottaras bounced around with the Blue Jays, Cardinals and Indians. Is it just me or do the White Sox have a lot of catchers, none of whom seem to be any good?