Ken Rosenthal reports that the Royals have signed Brayan Pena to a minor league deal.
Pena played for the Royals from 2009 through 2012. Last year was spent in St. Louis, but he played only nine games due to a knee injury. He’s still owed $2.5 million by the Cardinals this season by virtue of a two-year deal he signed a year ago. He doesn’t seem to have a place on the big league roster for the Royals given that Sal Perez and Drew Butera are on the club, but he might stick around Omaha and act as insurance.
In other news, last July Pena said he was joining the army reserves this offseason. No idea if he actually went through with that.
The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.
Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.
According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.
The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.