George Sherrill, Dan Wheeler join Royals on minors deals

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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.

Braves release Jose Bautista

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The Braves released veteran infielder/outfielder Jose Bautista on Sunday, per a team announcement. Right-hander Lucas Sims was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett in a corresponding move.

Bautista, 37, was recruited by the Braves in mid-April as a potential third base option. He inked a minor league deal with the club and lasted just 12 games in the majors, during which he batted a meager .143/.250/.343 with three extra-base hits and a .593 OPS across 40 plate appearances. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the big leagues — he collected 40 home runs, a .250 average and 5.3 fWAR with the Blue Jays in 2015 — his power has been noticeably declining over the last three years, and it’s clear the Braves don’t have enough time or opportunity to wait for him to get his groove back.

Without Bautista, Johan Camargo is expected to handle the hot corner on a daily basis. The 24-year-old infielder is working through his sophomore season at the major league level and entered Sunday’s game batting .226/.368/.403 with six extra bases and a .772 OPS in 76 PA. General manager Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged that top infield prospect Austin Riley could also get a shot at playing third base sometime in 2018, though the club has no current plans to promote him from Triple-A at the moment.