The Royals were awful in 2010. They figure to be even worse without Zack Greinke, at least in 2011. With that in mind, many have speculated that they will soon be looking to trade their closer Joakim Soria, as well. I even talked about the possibility in this space yesterday after it was confirmed that Jeremy Jeffress was in the deal. Apparently not.
While the Royals are receiving calls on Soria, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the club has no plans to move him.
Soria, 26, will make $4 million next season and has a series of affordable club/vesting options from 2012-2014 ($6 million, $8 million and $8.75 million), so while the Royals aren’t going to win anytime soon, they don’t have much sense of urgency to move him, either. By the way, the Royals would need his approval for trades to the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox, Phillies, Cardinals and Cubs.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.