Let no one say that the Cleveland Indians don’t have a sense of humor.
Roberto Hernandez, who used to be known as Fausto Carmona, returned to the Indians yesterday after spending months in the Dominican Republic trying to get a visa in the wake of his identity fraud beef. And, in welcoming him back, his teammates gave him a birthday party. Never mind that his birthday isn’t for another month:
That’s three cakes: One for the 29 year-old Fausto Carmona, another for 30 year-old Fausto Carmona, and one for the 31 year-old Roberto Hernandez.
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.