Chris Tillman is in the Best Shape of His Life

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BSOHL stories are usually reserved for veterans looking to rebound from a decline.  But even a 23 year-old can be in the BSOHL. Just ask Orioles’ pitcher Chris Tillman:

“I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, at least stronger,” he said. “All the running has definitely helped. I truly believe I’m better than I’ve ever been. I went to API last year, but that was more about injury prevention. This year, I’m going after it. No more tryout stuff. I’ve got to get after it. I’m train pretty hard out there.”

I worry about these younger guys being in the BSOHL. They’re way more media-aware than the older guys. They get memes quicker and stuff.  Soon — like, at any time now — some young player is going to ironically offer that he is in the BSOHL, and once that happens I feel like all of the fun will be taken out of it.

And don’t you dare say that the fun is already out of it. I NEED these stories, dammit. It’s the only way to get through the winter. So humor me, OK?

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.

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.