Dustin Pedroia grabs a hot dog

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Did I mention that spring training is a bit different than the regular season?  I mean, I thought it was neat that some Dodgers players took a shortcut down the concourse at Tempe Diablo Stadium last weekend.  Turns out that was nothing: Dustin Pedroia went out onto the concourse at City of Palms Park and bought three hot dogs during Saturday’s game:

“I was hungry,” Pedroia said. “The Red Sox have no food.”

When a staffer offered to get him something, Pedroia said: “I don’t need any help. I’m a grown athlete.”

At least he wasn’t in uniform, which probably would have caused a mob scene.

And I’m guessing that the post game clubhouse spread shows up a bit earlier the next time the Red Sox play.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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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.