According to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies announced that Jimmy Rollins underwent minor surgery Thursday to have a ganglion cyst removed from his left wrist.
Rollins will have stitches removed within the next two weeks and David Murphy (not the baseball player) of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that he should be fine for spring training.
Rollins, who turned 32 in November, was limited to just 88 games this past season due to a right calf injury and batted just .243/.320/.374 with eight home runs, 41 RBI, 17 stolen bases and a 694 OPS over 394 plate appearances.
The Phillies already exercised his $8.5 million option for 2011 last December, so while it can be argued that they may have jumped the gun a bit, there’s no doubt that they would have brought him back even after an injury-plagued 2010 season. Still, it’s worth nothing that he has a modest 710 OPS over the past two seasons compared to an 811 OPS during his monster seasons from 2004-08. He’ll enter his contract year with some extra motivation, but we’re likely witnessing his decline right now.
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.