Blue Jays acquire Brett Wallace from Orioles

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Looking for some organizational depth amid the injuries to Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind, the Blue Jays have acquired Brett Wallace from the Orioles for cash considerations. The former top prospect has been assigned to Triple-A Buffalo.

This will actually be Wallace’s second stint with the Blue Jays. The first time was when he was still a highly-regarded prospect, as he was acquired from the Athletics in December of 2009 for Michael Taylor before being moved to the Astros for Anthony Gose in July of 2010. Things have never panned out for Wallace in the majors, with a lousy .242/.313/.391 batting line over 1,077 plate appearances.

Wallace was released by the Astros at the end of spring training before latching on with the Orioles. Now 27 years old, he was batting .265/.329/.389 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI over 90 games this season with Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate.

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.