Something is brewing in Cincy

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Those are Cincinnati Enquirer John Fay’s words, who tweets that there’s a lot of activity coming out of the Reds’ front office.  He notes that the team called Scott Boras, but he (and others) are doubtful that there’s anything to the Johnny Damon-to-Cincinnati stuff people were talking about yesterday.

Fay thinks the team could be poised to sign either Jonny Gomes or Orlando Cabrera. MLB Trade Rumors notes that Boras’ other free agents include Hank Blalock, Felipe Lopez, Joe Crede, Garret Anderson, Jarrod Washburn, Eric Gagne, Scott Schoeneweis, and Ron Villone, so it could be any of those dudes too. 

Whatever the case, it still strikes me that the Reds could use a left fielder.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.