Kansas City’s next wave of young talent is now just one step from the majors, as the Royals promoted top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi from Double-A to Triple-A.
Myers struggled at Double-A last season, hitting just .253 with eight homers in 99 games, but the outfielder still ranked 28th on Baseball America‘s annual prospect list coming into this season and annihilated Texas League pitching while repeating the level. He hit .343 with 13 homers and 11 doubles in 35 games, producing an incredible .731 slugging percentage and 1.146 OPS to force the promotion at age 21.
Odorizzi ranked 68th on that same Baseball America list coming into the season and the 22-year-old right-hander made seven starts at Double-A with a 3.32 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 38 innings, showing the promise that made him a first-round pick in 2008.
So far the Royals’ historic prospect collection hasn’t resulted in big-league wins, but Myers and Odorizzi both project as impact players and the major leaguers have shown some signs of life recently by winning six of their last seven games.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.