Kenny Williams to Bobby Jenks: slim down, fatty

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Over the weekend, Bobby Jenks complained that the White Sox brass keep getting on him for being out of shape.  Kenny Williams isn’t all that interested in backing off:

“If he’s upset that it’s continuously brought up, then he should work on it and get it to where it’s not an issue . . . It is an issue. I’ve told him this directly to his face. If he’s going to have an extended career of effectiveness at a high level, like he certainly is capable of doing, then he has to take better care of himself.”

Kenny Williams is absolutely right to expect that his players be in tip-top shape and to accept no excuses when they fail to take care of themselves.  These guys have one job, and that’s to perform in physical competition with other athletes.  If someone isn’t on board with that, Heaven help them.

Kenny Williams is absolutely wrong, however, to say word one about this in public.  For one thing, it’s rude and unprofessional to call your own players out, just as it would be rude and unprofessional for any employer to call out his own employees’ shortcomings in a public forum.  Your TPS reports may not always have a cover sheet on them, but you don’t want your boss telling the newspaper about it, do you?

But it’s dumb on an even more basic level than that.  The GM’s primary job is to build his roster. One of the primary ways to build the roster is through trades.  Kenny Williams, it has been said, is even interesting in trading Bobby Jenks if given the right offer.  Fact: other GMs read newspapers.  Fact: when Kenny Williams slams his own player in public, other GMs will draw the inescapable conclusion that Kenny Williams doesn’t value Bobby Jenks all that much. Fact: because of that, Kenny Williams will get fewer and/or lower offers for Bobby Jenks as a result of him running down the guy in the Sun-Times or wherever.

Insist on the best, Kenny, but keep your criticisms in-house. To do otherwise only hurts the ballclub.

Royals sign Justin Grimm to a one-year, $1.25 million deal

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The Royals signed free agent reliever Justin Grimm to a one-year, $12.5 million deal, the club announced Sunday. Grimm can earn up to $300,000 in additional incentives, the specifics of which have yet to be disclosed.

The 29-year-old right-hander was released by the Cubs on Thursday. Prior to his release, he was slated to make $2.2 million after losing his arbitration case against the team. Grimm polished off a five-year campaign with the Cubs in 2017 and produced an unimpressive 5.53 ERA, 4.4 BB/9 and 9.6 SO/9 over 55 1/3 innings.

In a corresponding move, right-hander Sam Gaviglio was designated for assignment. He pitched in five games for the Royals this spring, racking up 13 hits, eight runs and seven strikeouts in seven innings.