The Royals have designated pitcher Miguel Almonte for assignment and have claimed outfielder Abraham Almonte off waivers from the Indians. Miguel was the 12th-ranked prospect in the system according to MLB Pipeline. The right-hander had a 1.72 ERA in 47 innings across AA and AAA last year. The 24-year old has a live arm with a fastball in the mid-90s with a solid change up and has pitched a handful of innings in the big leagues in 2015 and 2017. He pitched nine scoreless innings in spring training this year with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Abraham Almonte is a 28-year old switch-hitting outfielder who has hit .246/.300/.381 in 302 games with the Mariners, Padres, and Indians. Last year he hit .233/.314/.366 in 69 games with the Indians. He will be assigned to AAA Omaha.
This move would be head-scratching for any team, but is especially puzzling for a rebuilding team like the Royals. To give up a live, young arm for a replacement-level veteran outfielder makes no sense on paper. There must be more to this story, either an off-field incident, or an awful injury, for this to make any sense. And even then, it seems shortsighted to cut him loose.
The Royals can trade Miguel Almonte once they have designated him for assignment, so perhaps a deal is forthcoming. Stay tuned.
Miguel Almonte was battling posterior shoulder soreness.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) April 2, 2018