Juan Cruz has surgery after being cut by Royals

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Released by the Royals last week, Juan Cruz won’t be finding a new home this season because he’s undergoing surgery today to remove a cyst from his shoulder.
Kansas City gave up a second-round pick and $6 million to sign Cruz to a two-year deal last winter, which looked like a sound move considering his 2.88 ERA, .199 opponents’ batting average, and 158 strikeouts in 112.1 innings over the previous two seasons.
Unfortunately he had a 5.50 ERA in 55.2 innings for the Royals and based on today’s surgery perhaps Cruz was simply damaged goods the whole time. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Juan Cruz is hoping to be healthy enough to pitch in winter ball, but he’ll almost surely have to settle for a minor-league contract next season.

Report: Athletics to acquire Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Athletics and Cardinals have agreed on a trade involving outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals will receive two as yet unknown minor leaguers in return.

Piscotty, 26, hit .235/.342/.367 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 401 plate appearances for the Cardinals this past season. He dealt with injuries and with his mother’s ALS diagnosis, so it was a rough year, but very excusably so. The Cardinals had signed him to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension in March. He’s under contract through 2022 at a total of $29.5 million and has a club option for 2023 worth $15 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Cardinals had an outfield spot open up after agreeing to acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday so the Piscotty trade doesn’t come as a surprise.