Merry Christmas from HBT

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I suppose it’s theoretically possible that someone might sign a player or otherwise make news in the baseball world today, but if history tells us anything it tells us that such a thing is unlikely. If something does happen, however, rest assured that one of us will find the time to say at least a few words about it. In the meantime, though, we’re spending time with our families and stuff like that.

We hope you are too. But if that’s just not in the cards today, spend some time in the comments to this post telling your fellow HBT readers what you think of them. But not how you do it most days. Say some nice things for a change. It’s Christmas for cryin’ out loud.

OK, fine. If you can’t think of something nice to say, say what you feel like saying anyway. Christmas is great and all, but we don’t expect it to change who you are. And, for whatever reason, we like you the way you are.

Merry Christmas, HBT Nation.

Sincerely,

The Management

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.