In addition to adding outfielder Willy Taveras on a minor-league deal the Royals have also signed left-hander George Sherrill and right-hander Dan Wheeler to minor-league contracts, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
Sherrill was once a very good left-handed setup man, but missed nearly all of this year following Tommy John elbow surgery and faces an uphill battle coming back at age 36.
Wheeler got knocked around in a dozen appearances for the Indians and in May the 34-year-old was outrighted to Triple-A, where he threw 43 innings with a 2.32 ERA and 30/13 K/BB ratio.
They’ll both try to win a middle relief gig during spring training.
Mariners left-hander George Sherrill was shut down after the team’s season-opening trip to Tokyo, Japan because of lingering discomfort in his throwing elbow.
Now he can be ruled out for the rest of 2012.
According to beat reporter Shannon Drayer of Seattle’s 710 AM ESPN, the veteran lefty relief specialist is scheduled to undergo Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery early next month.
Relievers can sometimes return to action within a year, but there are no guarantees.
Sherrill allowed six hits and four earned runs in 1 1/3 innings of work this season. He had a 3.00 ERA in 36 frames last year for the Braves, then agreed to a one-year, $1.1 million contract with Seattle in December.
Josh Bell, who twice cracked Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects list and was traded from the Dodgers to the Orioles for George Sherrill in mid-2009, has been designated for assignment.
Baltimore dropped Bell from the 40-man roster to make room for catcher Luis Exposito, whom they claimed off waivers from Boston. Exposito is a 26-year-old career minor leaguer with a .665 OPS at Triple-A, so he’s purely backup material.
All of which says a lot about how far Bell’s stock has fallen, which is what happens when you hit just .200 with three homers, a .485 OPS, and a horrendous 78-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio through 226 plate appearances as a big leaguer. Bell also hasn’t hit much at Triple-A, but he’s still young enough that another team might claim him off waivers.