Royals' Gil Meche to undergo shoulder surgery

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Gil Meche, who has been on the DL since late May with what the Royals were calling right shoulder bursitis, will undergo season-ending surgery, reports Fanhouse’s Ed Price.
Meche’s shoulder clearly wasn’t right at any point of the season. He opened the year on the disabled list, and though he was able to return on April 11, he turned in just two quality starts in nine tries before finally being shut down again. He ends the year 0-4 with a 6.66 ERA and a 30/34 K/BB ratio in 48 2/3 innings.
It’ll go down as a second straight hugely disappointing campaign for Meche. His shoulder concerns started up during a 2009 season in which he also missed time with a back injury. He finished that year 6-10 with a 5.09 ERA.
Meche’s five-year, $55 million contract looked like a surprisingly solid investment two seasons in, but now he’ll enter his walk year in 2011 as a huge question mark. It’s unknown exactly what’s wrong in the shoulder, so the Royals won’t have any idea about his status for spring training until after the surgery.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.