Report: Royals trade Teahen to White Sox for Getz and Fields

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Nothing is official yet, but Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reports that the Royals have agreed to trade Mark Teahen to the White Sox for Chris Getz and Josh Fields.
According to Madden the White Sox plan to use Teahen in right field as the replacement for free agent Jermaine Dye, who’s not expected back in Chicago. Teahen made $3.575 million this season and has two more years of increasingly expensive arbitration eligibility ahead of him, so the Royals were smart to cash him in now for a pair of young, cheap players, although neither Getz nor Fields is particularly promising.
Despite having a reputation in some circles for being an impact player, Teahen has a modest .269/.331/.419 career hitting line, including .271/.325/.408 this season, and has topped an .800 OPS once in five years. And for all the talk of his supposed defensive versatility, in reality he’s a sub par third baseman who’s logged all of 23 career innings at second base. In other words, he’s basically a corner outfielder or first baseman with a .749 lifetime OPS, which just isn’t very valuable in a 28-year-old making good money.
Getz and Fields aren’t exactly stud prospects, of course, but they have a chance to be solid contributors for the Royals and just as importantly they’re both cheaply under team control for years. Getz hit .261/.324/.347 with 25 steals in 107 games this season as a 25-year-old rookie after batting .301/.369/.442 in 116 games at Triple-A. His defense graded out poorly according to Ultimate Zone Rating, but he should be able to hit .275 or so with a decent on-base percentage, a handful of homers, and good speed.
Fields is tougher to figure, because after a solid rookie season in 2007 he spent nearly all of 2008 in the minors and then struggled between Triple-A and Chicago this year. He’s hit just .229/.302/.416 through 204 games in the majors, which isn’t very promising when combined with the fact that he’ll be 27 years old next month and may not have the glove to stick at third base. Fields has hit .281/.370/.485 in 282 games at Triple-A and has 25-homer power, but he strikes out a ton and doesn’t walk much.
By adding Getz and Fields to the mix the Royals have raised questions about Alex Gordon and Alberto Callaspo while perhaps setting up another trade. Getz doesn’t have much upside beyond “decent all-around second baseman” and Fields is a coin-flip to have even that much value at this point, but he’s not without potential thanks to his power. Plus, parting with Teahen has very little impact on the Royals now or in the future, because he’s a mediocre 28-year-old about to make too much money.
I’m not particularly high on Getz or Fields, but to me this is still a pretty clear win for the Royals, which isn’t something that has been said much since Dayton Moore took over as general manager. For the White Sox, while Teahen wouldn’t be particularly valuable in right field moving Getz could allow Gordon Beckham to shift from third base to second base while clearing the way for general manager Ken Williams to make a major run at free agent Chone Figgins.

Evan Gattis undergoes surgery for hernia; recovery is 4-6 weeks

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Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle shares the bad news

One of the Astros’ big bats won’t be taking hacks when the Astros hold their first full workout on Feb. 23.

Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis recently underwent surgery to repair a hernia, the Chronicle has learned, taking away most of his spring training at a minimum. The recovery is four to six weeks but fortunately for Gattis and the Astros, the injury is not considered severe.

Gattis was working hard on his overall conditioning this winter, even telling MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart in late January that he had already dropped 18 pounds. It sounds like the big slugger might have gone a bit overboard with those workouts, and now he is in real danger of missing the first couple weeks of the 2016 regular season.

Gattis batted .246/.285/.463 with 27 home runs and 88 RBI in 153 games last season for the Astros. The 29-year-old is arbitration-eligible for the first time in his career and has a hearing with the Astros scheduled for February 16 to determine his salary for 2016. He requested $3.8 million and was offered $3 million when figures were exchanged a little over three weeks ago.

Suddenly the Astros’ front office might have a new talking point for those arbitrators.

Seung-Hwan Oh finally receives his work visa, will be on time for Cardinals camp

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At last check, new Cardinals reliever Seung-Hwan Oh was still awaiting a work visa from the United States Embassy in South Korea and there was some worry that he might not be able to arrive on time to spring training in Jupiter, Florida.

But that is now officially a non-story.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Oh has recieved his work visa and is expected to report to Cardinals camp next week along with the rest of the club’s pitchers and catchers. Oh might even show up a bit earlier than the Cardinals originally asked him to, per Goold.

Oh saved 357 games in 11 seasons between Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and the Korea Baseball Organization before inking a one-year contract with St. Louis this winter. He also registered a stellar 1.81 ERA and 772 strikeouts across 646 total innings in Asia, earning the nickname “The Final Boss.”

Oh is expected to work in a setup role this year for Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal.

John Lamb had back surgery in December, will likely get off to late start in 2016

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John Lamb was part of the Reds’ return package in last July’s Johnny Cueto trade and he had a strong showing at the Triple-A level in 2015. But the young left-hander posted a 5.80 ERA in a 10-start cup of coffee with Cincinnati late last season — his first 10 appearances as a major leaguer — and now comes word from MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon that Lamb will probably have to get off to a late start in 2016.

Lamb underwent surgery in December to repair a herniated disc in his back — a surgery that went unreported by the Reds until Tuesday afternoon. Reds manager Bryan Price acknowledged on MLB Network that Lamb is behind the team’s other starting pitchers and will likely open the coming season on the disabled list. The hope is that he might be ready by mid-April.

It’s a small but frustrating blow for a rebuilding Reds team that will be looking to establish some foundational pieces in 2016. Once he is recovered, Lamb will be expected to fill the Reds’ fifth rotation spot behind Raisel Iglesias, Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and Michael Lorenzen.

This is going to be an ugly year for Cincinnati baseball fans.

Yu Darvish will report to spring training on time, hopes to begin mound work in March

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Rangers ace Yu Darvish missed the entire 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last March 17. Most starting pitchers take 13-15 months to fully recover from that procedure, and the Rangers aren’t counting on Darvish until sometime this May.

His rehab so far has gone on without issue.

Darvish offered some very positive updates Tuesday to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram …

Darvish, 29, boasts a 3.27 ERA and 1.196 WHIP in 83 career major league starts. He can also claim a whopping 680 strikeouts in 545 1/3 career major league innings.

Texas has him under contract for $10 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017.