On Tuesday, the KC Royals signed three ex-big leaguers to minor league deals with invitations to spring training.
They signed two veteran relievers, George Sherrill and Dan Wheeler. The Royals are in need of a veteran in their bullpen and Wheeler has been a part of winning teams (in both Houston and Tampa Bay). However, he spent most of 2012 in Triple-A with Cleveland. With Columbus, he had a 2.32 ERA in 42.2 innings. Over his 13 year career, Wheeler has held right-handed hitters to a .216 average.
Sherrill missed most of last season after having Tommy John surgery. He hasn’t really been relevant since his 2009 season split between Baltimore and the LA Dodgers. He did have a solid season in 2011 with Atlanta, when he had a 3.00 ERA in 36 innings. Lefties hit .256 against him and he recorded 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings. However, he allowed three walks per nine innings.
This one is a head scratcher. Outfielder Willy Taveras. You know the guy who always had a ton of speed, but swung like he was a power hitter. Thus he never quite showed his full potential as a leadoff hitter.
I know the Royals do not have a sure thing in centerfield, but I doubt Taveras is the answer. He hasn’t been in the big leagues since 2010 (when he only played in 44 games). Supposedly he thinks he can still play at the Major League level and just wants a chance.
So the Royals had to be that team?
In seven seasons in the big leagues, he had just a .320 on-base percentage and walked just 136 times in 2,644 plate appearances. He did steal 195 bases and was caught 44 times.
What do you think of the signings? Do you think any of the three will make the big league team or be impactful?
*I’m a big fan of Wheeler’s since his Rays days, so I’m not exactly objective when it comes to him. I’ll be thrilled if he makes the team out of spring training.