Someone in Kansas City understands the concept of sunk costs and the desirability of roster flexibility: Jose Guillen has been designated for assignment.
Guillen had a fast start this year, and I understand why the Royals continued to play him even after he cooled down. Their thinking: someone, somewhere [cough!] Brian Sabean [cough!] might have gotten desperate and tried to trade for him. But that never happened, he’s currently 0 for his last 21 and no one with their right mind is going to give the Royals anything of value for him in a waiver deal. Expect this DFA to turn into a release within ten days.
The real beneficiary of this move — besides Royals fans who have to be tired of watching him and being reminded how much he costs — is Kila Ka’aihue. Finally called up to the Royals, he can now expect regular playing time at 1B with Billy Butler playing DH (or vice-versa) and the Royals can finally see what they have in him.
There’s a ton of talent on the Royals farm. In the past week they have unloaded Rick Ankiel, Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Guillen. There is hope in Kansas City, my friends. There is hope.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.