We now know the identity of the player to be named later going to the Royals. It’s exactly who we expected it to be.
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel are all reporting that Jeremy Jeffress will go to the Royals to complete the trade for Zack Greinke. The deal will be officially announced later this afternoon.
Jeffress, 23, missed the beginning of the 2010 season while serving the end of a 100-game suspension for a second positive marijuana test, but posted a 2.23 ERA and 43/12 K/BB ratio over 32 1/3 innings as a reliever between Single-A Wisconsin, High-A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville. The former 2006 first-round pick made his major league debut as a September call-up, posting a 2.70 ERA and 8/6 K/BB ratio over 10 innings. With a fastball that sits in the mid-to-high 90s, some have called him a potential closer.
Now that we know Jeffress is definitely in the trade, it’s time to wonder if the Royals will soon be willing to part with Joakim Soria, as well. Soria, who turns 27 in May, is owed $4 million next season and has a series of club options from 2012-2014. It’s an affordable and flexible contract, so the Royals have no sense of urgency to deal him, but Jeffress at least gives them some insurance to begin listening.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”