The Royals are interested in recently released infielder Brett Lawrie, according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden. The 27-year old was surprisingly placed on waivers by the White Sox on Friday after one disappointing season in Chicago. He played in just 94 games last year due to hamstring issues, and hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs.
Lawrie has a history with the Royals, sliding hard into Alcides Escobar in a 2015 game when he was with the Athletics. The animosity would carryover throughout the weekend with Yordano Ventura plunking Lawrie the next day, and Kelvin Herrera throwing behind his back on the Sunday finale. He has been an intense player throughout his career, and his next organization will be the fifth of his career.
Lawrie is a career .261/.315/.419 hitter, although his strikeout rate took a huge spike last year. He has been a very good defender at third base, but moved over to second base last year and held his own. The Royals would presumably be interested in him to play second base, where they currently have an open competition between Whit Merrifield, Christian Colón, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Raúl Mondesí, with Mondesí already impressing in camp with a hot start.
Bowden reports the Rays, Mets, and Blue Jays are also interested in Lawrie. If he clears waivers, Lawrie would be free to sign for whatever amount he wants, but would be eligible for free agency after the season. He had been experiencing some leg injuries, which may have been a factor in his release.