The Royals don’t have much wiggle room with their payroll after signing left-hander Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract last week, so they are willing to deal some of their bullpen surplus in order to address other areas of need.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star was told by rival club officials that Aaron Crow and Tim Collins are “very available” in possible trades. Both pitchers will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so they’ll only get more expensive over time. The Royals would consider offers for any of their relievers, but they are naturally more reluctant to move All-Star closer Greg Holland than Crow or Collins.
Crow, who turned 27 earlier this month, owns a 3.19 ERA over 187 relief appearances in the majors while averaging 9.0 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. Collins, a 24-year-old left-hander, has compiled a 3.51 ERA and 205 strikeouts over his first 190 innings in the majors.
Dutton currently projects the Royals to have a franchise-record payroll of $87 million in 2014.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.
Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.
Last week Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. That’s bad, but it turns out that it’s nothing new. The Yonhapnews Agency reports that Kang has been arrested for DUI three times since 2009:
Gangnam Police Station in southern Seoul confirmed that it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, with the three strikes law resulting in the immediate revocation of his license. According to police, Kang had also been arrested for a DUI in August 2009 and May 2011. No personal injuries were reported in either case, though he’d caused property damage in the latter incident.
The report also notes that a companion of Kang initially claimed that he, and not Kang, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident which led to Kang’s arrest last week. It was later revealed by the car’s black box, however, that Kang was driving. So add in some obstruction of justice, whether it is charged or not, to the scene. Police are investigating that.
Between all of this and the fact that Kang is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago this past season, a pretty ugly portrait of the Pirates’ infielder is beginning to reveal itself.