aMLB Pipeline covers top Arizona Fall League performers.
Royals: Diego Hernandez, OF (No. 15), Gigantes del Cibao
Eric Cerantola, RHP (Unranked), Surprise Saguaros One swing of the bat was all it took for Hernandez to surpass his RBI total from his first 10 games for the Gigantes. After snapping a tie with a fielder’s choice groundout in the sixth inning, the 22-year-old capped a five-run seventh with a bases-loaded triple and also swiped a base. Hernandez has never had a four-RBI game in the Minors since he debuted in 2018.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown makes his free agent predictions.
My lone Royals prediction is Seth Lugo. At least from this list. I’ll get to more Royals signings that I’m predicting in a bit, but they were in pretty hard on him last year before he ultimately went to San Diego. He had a really nice season for them and has earned himself a multi-year deal, but Kansas City is a nice landing spot with a solid defense, a big park and a definite opportunity to start every fifth day with very little else available. From the perspective of the Royals, he’s a potential trade piece at the deadline as well, so it’s a good fit all the way around.
Craig Brown at Inside the Fountains is writing again, this time about the hot stove and the designating of assignment of Nate Eaton.
Eaton had a miserable time in Kansas City in 2023, hitting just .075/.125/.075 in 56 plate appearances. He fared a little better in Triple-A Omaha (how could you be any worse?), but still hit just .252/.312/.441, good for an 84 wRC+.
While Eaton was never much of a prospect, I think it’s important to note that while he made his major league debut in 2022, he had never played an inning above High-A prior to that season. Plus, he’s going to be 27 next season. Sometimes, the game just moves a little too fast.
Preston Farr at Farm to Fountains writes about players he wants added to the 40-man roster.
Starting Pitcher Beck Way should in no way be protected on the 40-man roster. However, the single-inning relief pitcher version could be worth a shot. Way made 17 starts in 2023, finishing his season with a 6.67 ERA. In the second half, Kansas City shifted him to the Naturals bullpen and the results were night and day. As a starter, Way had a 9.23 ERA with 51 walks and 48 strikeouts. Opponents hit .306 against him in those 17 games. As a reliever, his ERA was down to 1.93 with 32 strikeouts and just 12 walks. Opponents hit just .153 against him in those 11 appearances.
Former Royals pitcher Ian Kennedy will retire.
The Dodgers sign Max Muncy to a two-year extension.
The Blue Jays decline an $18 million option on Whit Merrifield.
Jorge Soler opts out of his deal with the Marlins.
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