Detroit announced its postseason roster, choosing to include both Brad Penny and Rick Porcello. That means one of them will start Game 4 against the Yankees while the other works out of the bullpen, although manager Jim Leyland hasn’t said which right-hander will fill which role.
David Pauley, who was acquired from the Mariners as part of the Doug Fister trade in July, will not be on the ALDS roster after posting a 5.95 ERA in 14 appearances for the Tigers. Pauley had a 2.15 ERA in 39 appearances for Seattle prior to the trade.
Instead of Pauley the Tigers opted for Ryan Perry as a right-handed reliever. They’ll also go with Omir Santos as their backup catcher, in part because Victor Martinez is too banged up to be even an emergency option behind the plate.
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.