MLB has released the list of six-year minor league free agents, which includes notable Royals Shane Costa, Ryan Shealy, and Chris Lubanski. Under the rules, a minor leaguer with six full years of credited service time in the minors can become a free agent if his organization does not place him on its 40-man major league roster. Neither Costa, Shealy, nor Lubanski were expected back, so this comes as no surprise. Costa is now free to fulfill his destiny as a backup outfielder for the Padres, while Shealy and Lubanski will be looking for jobs filling out AAA rosters.
CHONE Projections for 2010
Costa: 279/336/418, +1 batting runs above average
Shealy: 245/329/398, -2 batting runs above average
Lubanski: 243/309/379, -13 batting runs above average
The full list of now former Royals is after the break.
Pitchers: RHP Juan Abreu, RHP John Bannister, LHP Tim Hamulack, RHP Luke Hudson, LHP Michael O'Connor, RHP Chad Orvella, LHP Heath Phillips
Infielders: Chase Fontaine, Ryan Shealy, Corey Smith
Juan Abreu is a mild surprise as he has posted double digit K/9 rates throughout his career, but given that he also has posted a BB/9 rate near 6.0, the surprise is only mild.
The players can always re-sign with the Royals, so some of them may be back.