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Weekend Rumblings - News for June 25, 2022

Are the Royals motivated to trade Whit Merrifield?

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Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for June 25, 2022

Manager Mike Matheny reacts to Salvador Perez’s thumb surgery.

“Salvy was wrecked,” Matheny said of Perez’s reaction to the setback. “I don’t need to convince anybody about how passionate this guy is about playing the game of baseball. Any time an injury like that happens, you just don’t know. He was on such a good track, coming back and getting strong, watching the ball jump out of the park and carry, everything seemed to be going well. And one swing sent him in a bad direction. Fortunately, the procedure went well, and we move forward.”

Jon Heyman writes that the Royals are more motivated to trade Whit Merrifield.

The Royals, a realistic group, will sell. Andrew Benintendi may be their top piece and Carlos Santana may draw interest. The Royals are talking “more seriously” about the versatile Whit Merrifield in trade discussions than ever before, one rival exec said. He’s a free agent after next year.

Eno Sarris writes about pitches that should be thrown more.

Jon Heasley, slider

Heasley was on his way to a good start against the Angels, with five innings and one run in his back pocket, but the sixth inning didn’t go so well, as he allowed a three-run homer to Shohei Ohtani that changed the complexion of his line and left him available on wires in many fantasy leagues. He’s still got above-average stuff and locations overall, a great home park, and, as it turns out, an underused pitch that could improve his lot going forward.

Why doesn’t he throw this pitch more? He’s thrown it 75 times and it’s produced one extra-base hit. It gets more whiffs than any other pitch he throws, on a pitch-by-pitch basis. He should throw this pitch more.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown considers an MJ Melendez contract extension.

The next thing I like to do when thinking about contract extensions is what a player would make if everything goes well through their team control years. For Melendez, because of when he came up, he’ll play under the minimum salary for this year and then two more, but will end up going through arbitration four times. That means the Royals have him under team control through 2028 and that’s important to think about with someone who plays behind the plate.

So let’s say he makes about $1.5 million in his final two pre-arbitration years and then hits arbitration. A rough estimate of what he could make would be $2.5 million in his first year, $6 million second year, $12 million third year and $19 million in that final season. That’s if everything goes well for him and he doesn’t become a superstar but he’s a very good player. I’m thinking about rising salaries as well here. So in that scenario, his next six years will end up at $41 million.

Jacob Milham at Inside the Royals writes that Ryan O’Hearn is producing when the team needs him.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman brings up some positives to Salvy’s absence.

Freddie Freeman gets a warm welcome in his return to Atlanta.

The Rangers trade outfielder Willie Calhoun to the Giants for outfielder Steven Duggar.

Aaron Judge and the Yankees avoid arbitration with a one-year, $19 million deal.

There is no clear favorite in the National League Rookie of the Year race.

The Mets are reportedly looking at Reds pitcher Luis Castillo.

Cole Hamels is targeting a comeback in 2023.

A look back at what happened to some top picks in the draft from the last decade.

Inside the moves that defined the NBA draft.

Top college football recruit Arch Manning is heading to Texas.

Why air travel is a hot mess right now.

Climate change is altering the way wine tastes.

Elvis Presley turned down a lot of acting roles, including the role of Willy Wonka.

Your song of the day is The Velvelettes with He Was Really Sayin’ Something.