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MLB Free Agents 2017: Rumors, Predictions for Josh Reddick, Carlos Beltran, More

Major League Baseball’s signing season hasn’t ramped up just yet, but there’s plenty of chatter floating around that could serve as a good indicator of where several of the market’s most coveted players will land.

From corner outfielders to relievers on the comeback trail and ageless designated hitters, there are free agents aplenty who can help contenders make leaps in 2017.

So as the hot stove heats up, here’s a rundown of the latest buzz from around MLB


Orioles Pursuing Reddick 

The Baltimore Orioles are in need of corner outfield reinforcements, so it makes sense that they’re getting in on the Josh Reddick sweepstakes.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Orioles are pursuing the 29-year-old after he batted a career-high .281 during a 2016 season that saw him split his time between the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers.

On both sides of the ball, Reddick makes sense for the Orioles. 

He’s historically crushed the ball at Camden Yards and owns a lifetime OPS of 1.167 in Baltimore, according to Morosi. That mark is his highest at any MLB park, per, and it complements some other outrageous stats at the hitter-friendly park. 

All told, Reddick has compiled five home runs, 12 RBI and a .400 batting average in 24 career games at Camden Yards. 

Defensively, Reddick would also add value next to center fielder Adam Jones. 

According to FanGraphs, Reddick ranked sixth among all MLB right fielders last season (minimum 300 innings played) with six defensive runs saved. Only Mookie Betts, Adam Eaton, Jason Heyward, Nick Markakis and Ezequiel Carrera posted superior totals. 

Morosi also noted the Toronto Blue Jays have interest in Reddick since Jose Bautista, according to Today’s Knuckleball’s Jon Heyman, will reportedly decline the team’s $17.2 million qualifying offer. 

And while Reddick makes sense for both American League East contenders, his history of hitting the cover off the ball in Baltimore should make the Orioles the leader in the clubhouse for the time being. 

Prediction: Reddick signs three-year deal with the Orioles


Red Sox Interested in Beltran

Age evidently isn’t going to slow Carlos Beltran down. 

During his age-39 season, which was split between the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, Beltran clobbered 29 home runs and tallied 93 RBI—his highest totals in both categories since he was named an All-Star during the 2012 campaign. 

Beyond his impressive power, Beltran also batted .295 with a .337 on-base percentage. Not surprisingly, those numbers have at least one pennant contender interested in his services. 

According to’s Scott Lauber, a league source disclosed the Boston Red Sox want Beltran “badly.”

Might boil down to whether Beltran wants more than a one-year guarantee,” Lauber wrote. “Unclear at this point. Regardless, Beltran wasn’t subjected to qualifying offer by virtue of getting traded during season, so signing team won’t have to cough up first-round pick.

The Red Sox are in need of a new full-time designated hitter following David Ortiz’s retirement, and the soon-to-be 40-year-old Beltran would seem to be a perfect fit.

However, the Red Sox will likely have to compete with at least one other AL club in order to land the aged slugger. 

The New York Daily News‘ Mark Feinsand reported the Houston Astros are “hot” for Beltran, and the rising AL West squad could have appeal to Beltran after he spent 2004 in H-Town. 

When it comes time to make a decision, the chance to win a World Series should steer Beltran toward the Red Sox—who already have the pieces and pitching staff necessary to help him capture that elusive championship ring. 

Prediction: Beltran signs two-year deal including club option with Boston


Boston Hoping to Lock Down Holland? 

Greg Holland missed the 2016 season after he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, but that hasn’t prevented a slew of clubs from kicking the tires on him in free agency.

According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, “the Red Sox are among the most aggressive suitors for the free agent relievers. There are, however, ‘several teams’ that are showing a similar level of interest.”

A two-time All-Star, Holland was one of MLB’s most consistent closers during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He recorded 93 saves during that span and posted sub-1.50 ERAs over the course of those two stellar years. 

However, a recent post-surgery showcase left lingering questions regarding his future effectiveness. 

According to the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman, Holland’s fastball clocked in between 89 and 90 mph during the audition. That was concerning, namely because his career fastball average before hitting the shelf was 95.5 mph, per FanGraphs

“He had good extension, which suggests he is healthy,” a scout told Sherman. “This is his fastball in November, 13 months after surgery—it will be something else in spring training. But this is the key now: What does he look like in four months? That is really what you are trying to figure out.”

If there’s good news for Holland, it’s that he doesn’t necessarily need an overpowering fastball thanks to his reliable slider. 

“The Greg Holland slider was front and center,” Holland’s agent, Scott Boras, said, per Sherman. “The reaction should be pretty positive after that. He just had to illustrate that he was healthy because when he has been healthy, he has been elite.”

Bradford cited the Yankees, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals as other teams that could chase Holland, but he noted “it is unclear which clubs have the same level of intent as the Red Sox.”

And after closer Craig Kimbrel struggled throughout the second half of the season, adding a contingency plan like Holland makes all the sense in the world for the Red Sox. 

Prediction: Holland signs two-year deal with the Red Sox


Stats courtesy of unless noted otherwise. 

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Chris Sale Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding White Sox SP

Chris Sale’s 2016 season was turbulent at times, and the Chicago White Sox are reportedly receiving trade interest in the five-time All-Star from a number of clubs.

Continue for updates.

Braves In on Sale

Tuesday, Nov. 15

According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Atlanta Braves are among the teams showing “strong interest” in acquiring Sale.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirmed Sale is among the pitchers the Braves are considering making a move for.

Nationals Inquire About Sale

Tuesday, Nov. 15

On Monday, USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale reported the Washington Nationals had asked about Sale’s availability. However, he noted the White Sox had not had “serious talks with anyone yet.”

Sale Remains Intriguing Trade Target

Sale’s 2016 season was marred by a team-imposed suspension on the heels of his decision to reportedly cut up the team’s throwback jerseys before a game in late July, per Tommy Stokke of Today’s Knuckleball.

But aside from the clubhouse incident, Sale was plenty effective on the bump.

The 27-year-old tied his career high with 17 wins, and he hit that mark by recording a 3.34 ERA, a league-best six complete games, a 1.037 WHIP and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings.

Sale’s 5.2 wins above replacement also ranked tied for tops among all American League pitchers along with Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander and Boston Red Sox hurler Rick Porcello.

Sale’s production alone makes him a compelling trade target, but a reasonable, team-controlled contract should bolster his trade value if the White Sox do make him available.

Sale is slated to earn $12 million in 2017, and he owns a pair of club options for the final two seasons on his deal. Specifically, Sale will make $12.5 million in 2018 and $15 million in 2019, if his employer exercises the options.


Stats courtesy of and FanGraphs. Salary information courtesy of

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MLB Rookies of the Year 2016: AL and NL Winners, Voting Results and Reaction

Corey Seager and Mike Fulmer need to clear room on their mantles for some new hardware. 

On Monday, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop and Detroit Tigers pitcher were named the National League and American League Rookies of the Year, respectively. 

Seager won the NL award unanimously, while Fulmer held off New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez to take home the AL honors, according to

Seager was a runaway winner on the NL side for good reason. 

Over the course of his first full MLB campaign, Seager solidified himself as one of the league’s most impactful batters. The 22-year-old batted .308 with a .365 on-base percentage and .512 slugging percentage across 687 plate appearances. 

The Dodgers congratulated him on Twitter:

The Silver Slugger Award winner also smashed 26 home runs and drove in 72 runs—marks that ranked first and third, respectively, among all NL shortstops.

Furthermore, Seager’s 7.5 wins above replacement paced all MLB shortstops and ranked fifth among all players behind Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Mookie Betts and Josh Donaldson. 

“For being as young as he is, he’s got an old-school mentality,” Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley said, according to the Los Angeles TimesBill Shaikin. “He plays the game and lets his actions speak louder than his words.”

Thanks to that mindset, Seager qualified as a finalist for NL MVP in addition to Rookie of the Year during a season that saw him nab an All-Star berth and cement his status as a rising star. 

And as’s Jonah Keri noted, “It’s not unreasonable for Dodgers fans to close their eyes and wonder if they might be watching the start of a Derek Jeter-like career in L.A.”

In the AL, Fulmer staved off Sanchez after the 23-year-old catcher hit home runs at record rates following his call-up on Aug. 2. 

Although Sanchez only needed 49 games to hit 20 home runs, he didn’t have time on his side. By virtue of his late-season arrival, Sanchez was limited to 53 games and 229 plate appearances. 

Conversely, Fulmer debuted on April 29 and held his own in a rotation that already boasted Justin Verlander. 

The 23-year-old went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.119 WHIP and 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings as a rookie, and his 4.9 wins above replacement ranked eighth among all AL pitchers. According to Sports Illustrated‘s Jay Jaffe, that mark was the highest of any American League rookie pitcher since Jonathan Papelbon posted a tally of 5.0 in 2006. 

MLB Stat of the Day on Twitter also noted that Fulmer’s 1.119 WHIP is the 11th-lowest among the 182 rookies with at least 25 starts since 1920. 

“He’s got a great mentality on the mound. He’s got great stuff, so he’s going out there and attacking guys and having a lot of success,” Verlander said, according to’s Katie Strang. “It’s been a real shot in the arm for our team.” 


Stats courtesy of and

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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera, More

Hot-stove season is upon us, which means trade rumors are starting to fly at a fast and furious pace as teams across Major League Baseball seek to retool their rosters and gear up for title runs in 2017. 

And with big names like Andrew McCutchen and Miguel Cabrera surfacing in advance of this year’s winter meetings, the rumor mill shouldn’t stop churning anytime soon. 

Here’s a rundown of the latest buzz from across MLB


Pirates Entertaining Offers for McCutchen

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals were reportedly engaged in trade talks centered around McCutchen at the non-waiver trade deadline, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, but the discussions didn’t yield a completed deal.

However, those trade talks may have been indicative of the Pirates’ larger desire to move McCutchen at some point in the near future. 

“The talks, while unlikely to revive because of differences in McCutchen‘s perceived value, amount to the strongest indication yet that the Pirates are willing to move their five-time All-Star and franchise player,” Rosenthal wrote. 

A day after Rosenthal‘s news broke, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington disclosed the Pirates have been open to hearing proposals regarding their star center fielder, according to the Associated Press’ Ronald Blum

They recognize that we haven’t been adverse to moving guys as their contract nears expiration. It’s a part of how we believe we need to do things to continue to be competitive and continue to give ourselves a shot to win. If they see his name out there, they do what we do. If a really good player’s name gets popped out there, we make a call just to make sure we do our due diligence and to see if there might be a fit.

The five-time All-Star is coming off a down year at the plate that saw him bat .256 with a .336 on-base percentage, 24 home runs and 79 RBI, and based on his contractual status, it would make sense for the Pirates to shop the 30-year-old. 

McCutchen is owed $14 million in 2017 and has a club option for $14.5 million in 2018, so if Pittsburgh doesn’t want to invest more money in the aging outfielder long term, dealing him now for younger, cost-controlled pieces would be a prudent move. 

When it comes to potential buyers, contenders in win-now mode could do much worse than McCutchen

Although he could be starting to decline following a year that saw him finish with minus-0.7 wins above replacement, the 2013 NL MVP would be an upgrade in center for a load of prospective title hopefuls, and he could help shift the league’s balance of power. 


Astros Eyeing Cabrera? 

The Houston Astros are reportedly looking for a superstar addition, and they’re not afraid to pay for one. 

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, that could mean making offers to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Cabrera: 

However, the Astros’ history suggests that dealing for Cabrera doesn’t align with their standard operating procedure. 

“Cabrera, 33, is guaranteed $212 million over the next seven seasons,” the Houston Chronicle‘s Jake Kaplan wrote. “The Astros under Jim Crane’s ownership group have not spent more than $47.5 million on a single player (Yulieski Gurriel).” 

Kaplan also noted that Cabrera would need to approve any trade to the Astros, which would also complicate matters for the AL West hopefuls. 

Furthermore, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow pumped the breaks on rumors that Cabrera could be Houston-bound. 

“I was asked, ‘Would we consider a trade for a Hall of Fame-caliber first baseman,’ and we’re considering everything,” he said, per Kaplan. “I think the media kind of ran with that.”

In other words, don’t bank on Cabrera suiting up for the Astros anytime soon. 


Rays Reportedly Intent on Dealing Pitching

The Tampa Bay Rays have a surplus of starting pitchers, and they appear intent on making a deal to take advantage of that as the offseason progresses.

The New York Post‘s Joel Sherman provided the details:  

“The demand is there,” Rays general manager Erik Neander said, according to the Tampa Bay TimesMarc Topkin. “When you have really good players, especially in an area where there is need across the league, I think it certainly plays that way.”

Topkin noted Chris Archer logically garners the most interest, but the 28-year-old told reporters he has “very good insight” he won’t be traded this offseason. 

That leaves the cost-controlled likes of Jake Odorizzi and Drew Smyly as the Rays’ most compelling potential trade chips for the time being. 

Among those two, Odorizzi would appear to be the more appealing pitcher to prospective buyers. 

The 26-year-old went 10-6 during the 2016 season, and he was steady to the tune of a 3.69 ERA, 1.194 WHIP and a mark of eight strikeouts per nine inningsSmyly, on the other hand, went 7-12 with a career-worst 4.88 ERA. 

Now, those numbers aren’t necessarily indicative of Smyly‘s overall skill set, but considering Odorizzi is younger and has more upside, the Rays could likely net a more lucrative haul if they deal him to try to reinforce other areas of their lineup. 


Stats courtesy of Contract information courtesy of

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Cubs Fan Mabel Ball Dies at Age 108

Mabel Ballthe 108-year-old Chicago Cubs fan who lived for the full length of the team’s World Series drought before it was snapped earlier this month—died Tuesday. 

According to the Chicago Tribune‘s Irv Leavitt, Ball’s son Rich confirmed the news. 

“The cruel irony, the almost unbelievable irony, is that the person who waits and waits and waits, after it happens, says, ‘I’ve done what I’ve got to do, and I’m out of here,'” he said. “It ain’t funny, but it’s funny.”

According to ABC7’s Sarah Schulte, Ball was born two months before the Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers in the 1908 World Series. 

“As time goes and they begin to make an impression, you keep hoping they’ll do well and get to the top,” Ball told Schulte before the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in a thrilling seven-game series. 

Ball didn’t attend a game at Wrigley Field until she was 90 years old, per Schulte, but she was a lifelong fan who raised her kids with the sounds of the game emanating through the house. 

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MLB Gold Glove Awards 2016: Full List of Winners and Reaction

Major League Baseball won’t reveal MVP and Cy Young Award winners until next week, but it did hand out a slew of hardware Tuesday when the sport’s top defensive talents were honored with Gold Gloves. 

Here’s a look at this year’s complete list of winners:

One of the biggest notable trends from this year’s voting is the number of San Francisco Giants who came away with wins, and catcher Buster Posey is among those notable triumphs. 

Not only did Posey win his first career Gold Glove on Tuesday night, but he snapped Yadier Molina’s streak of eight consecutive wins behind the plate for the St. Louis Cardinals, according to ESPN Stats & Info’s Mark Simon. Posey also led all National League catchers in defensive runs saved (23), according to Simon. 

Furthermore, the Giants boast three Gold Glove winners for the first time in 22 years. According to Simon, the Giants last touted that many fielding honors when Barry Bonds, Darren Lewis and Matt Williams all came away as victors. 

Elsewhere in the infield, Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado stayed on his torrid pace and picked up his fourth straight Gold Glove to join some exclusive company, according to ESPN Stats & Info: 

The Rockies provided a complete overview of Arenado‘s defensive accomplishments from the 2016 season: 

According to FanGraphs, Arenado finished the year ranked third in UZR—which “puts a run value to defense, attempting to quantify how many runs a player saved or gave up through their fielding prowess (or lack thereof)”among all National League third basemen. 

Speaking of UZR, Francisco Lindor parlayed his AL-best mark of 20.8 among shortstops into his first Gold Glove.’s Jordan Bastian provided some context regarding Lindor‘s win: 

One other American League winner worth highlighting is Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts. 

The 24-year-old posted an outrageous fielding percentage of .997, and his UZR clocked in second among all American League right fielders behind only Adam Eaton of the Chicago White Sox. Betts also recorded 14 outfield assists and 32 defensive runs saved, according to the Red Sox on Twitter

“That kid is an unbelievable athlete,” David Ortiz said, according to’s Gordon Edes. “It’s a no-doubter he’s going be a superstar.”

While Gold Glove results aren’t perfect considering they’re subjective awards voted on by managers and coaching staffs, this year’s honorees represent the class of defensive excellence across baseball.

In other words, don’t be surprised if the same names continue to capture the prestigious hardware for years to come. 


Stats courtesy of and FanGraphs

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Justin Turner: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Free-Agent 3B

Justin Turner is coming off three solid seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and one National League West rival is reportedly interested in signing him when free agency opens. 

Continue for updates. 

Giants Reportedly Express Preliminary Interest in Turner

Tuesday, Nov. 8

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the San Francisco Giants are “open-minded” in their pursuit of Turner. 

The Giants opted for a platoon at third base throughout the 2016 season, but the stats weren’t particularly encouraging. 

San Francisco third basemen ranked 18th in Major League Baseball with a cumulative batting average of .266. In that same vein, their .320 on-base percentage graded out 22nd overall among all teams. Hot corner patrolmen for the Giants also combined to hit 12 home runs and tally 61 RBI. 

Comparatively, Turner exceeded that production rather easily. 

Over the course of 151 games, Turner posted a slash line of .275/.339/.493 with a career-best 27 home runs and 90 RBI. Those numbers came on the heels of a .340 batting average in 2014 and a .294 average with a .370 on-base percentage a year ago. 

Although his defensive wins above replacement have hovered at or just north of 0.6 over the last three seasons, per, Turner could bring an experienced bat to an already potent Giants lineup that needs some reinforcements to compete for an NL West title. 


Stats via unless otherwise noted.

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Matt Holliday’s Contract Option Declined by Cardinals: Latest Comments, Reaction

The St. Louis Cardinals officially declined the remaining option year on outfielder Matt Holliday’s contract Friday after general manager John Mozeliak indicated the team would do as much toward the end of the regular season. 

Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball and Chris Cotillo of SB Nation first reported the Cardinals declined to pick up Holliday’s $17 million option for the 2017 season.

Instead, Holliday will be paid a $1 million buyout and become an unrestricted free agent. 

Holliday spent eight seasons with the Cardinals, and he established himself as one of MLB‘s premier outfielders during that stretch. 

After joining the club in 2009, Holliday made three straight All-Star appearances from 2010-2012 thanks to his remarkable consistency at the plate. 

Holliday earned his seventh All-Star nod in 2015, but his career started to be derailed by injuries during a campaign that saw him bat .279/.394/.410 with four home runs and 35 RBI over the course of 73 appearances. 

The 2016 season didn’t treat Holliday much better. 

Although he appeared in 110 games, Holliday still spent considerable time on the shelf nursing a broken thumb that forced him to miss most of August and almost all of September. 

Compounding matters was the way in which Holliday’s performance at the plate slipped. In 426 plate appearances, the 36-year-old posted a slash line of .246/.322/.461 while cranking 20 home runs and driving in 62 runs. 

And while his power numbers were somewhat encouraging, Holliday posted just one offensive win above replacement—which marked the lowest total of his career. Holliday also served as a net negative in the outfield, where he notched minus-1.3 defensive wins above replacement. 

Despite those struggles, Holliday maintained an optimistic outlook when the 2016 came to a close. 

“I have a lot of good baseball left in me,” he said, according to’s Jenifer Langosch

Holliday isn’t the force he once was, but his ability to provide supplementary pop at the plate could make him an attractive platoon option for a contender in need of bench reinforcements. 

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Cameron Maybin Reportedly to Angels: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

The Detroit Tigers have had an on-again, off-again relationship with Cameron Maybin since he first arrived in the Motor City in 2007, but they’ve parted ways with the outfielder again, trading him to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, according to Jason Beck of

The Detroit Free PressAnthony Fenech and Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal both reported the Angels plan to pick up Maybin’s $9 million club option for 2017.

According to the Orange County Register‘s Jeff Fletcher, the Angels will send right-handed pitcher Victor Alcantara to the Tigers in exchange for Maybin.  

ESPN The Magazine‘s Buster Olney provided two reasons that fueled the Angels’ desire to make a deal: 

Thursday marks the second time in as many offseasons that Maybin has been moved, with last year’s trade from the Atlanta Braves to the Tigers representing a welcome change of scenery. 

Maybin proceeded to experience a career year that saw him post a slash line of .315/.383/.418 with four home runs and 43 RBI. Maybin also stole 15 bases—marking the fourth time in his career that he has cracked 15 swipes. 

Thanks to his resurgence at the plate, Maybin tallied a career-best 3.1 offensive wins above replacement—which ranked fourth among all Tigers behind Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez. 

As for Maybin’s defensive future in L.A., Rosenthal reported the early expectation is that he will be stationed in left field beside Mike Trout.

Maybin represents an immediate upgrade in left field after Rafael Ortega, Daniel Nava and Nick Buss served as a three-pronged platoon for the Angels throughout the 2016 season, but he will need to stay healthy for the investment to be worth it.

Maybin appeared in only 94 of 162 games last year because of wrist, shoulder, thumb and quad injuries, and he made just 95 appearances for the San Diego Padres in 2014.

But if Maybin staves off the medical woes and stays hot at the plate, the Angels could have a bargain on their hands as they try to return to the postseason for the first time since 2014. 


Stats courtesy of

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Wade Davis Contract Option to Be Picked Up by Royals: Latest Details, Reaction

Wade Davis has been one of the better closers in baseball over the past two seasons, and the Kansas City Royals are expected to make a prudent move to keep the 31-year-old in tow Thursday by picking up his $10 million club option for 2017.  

Today’s Knuckleball’s Jon Heyman first relayed news of the Royals’ decision to pick up Davis’ option. Jeffery Flanagan of confirmed that report. 

Davis has ranked among MLB’s more reliable relievers over the past two seasons—both of which have seen him earn All-Star nods. 

He was arguably the best reliever in baseball during the 2015 season, and the numbers back that up. Davis went 8-1 with a 0.94 ERA and 0.787 WHIP in 67.1 innings while recording 17 saves, and he kept opposing batters off balance to the tune of a .144 batting average. 

Davis’ 2016 season wasn’t quite as prolific, namely because he missed a portion of July and all of August because of a right forearm strain. 

As a result, Davis was limited to 43.1 innings. During that stretch, he notched 27 saves, a 1.87 ERA, 1.131 WHIP, 47 strikeouts and 16 walks as opponents mustered a slash line of .210/.295/.242. 

Davis’ recurring forearm troubles over the past year could have given the Royals pause, since they had the option to buy out the final year of his deal for $2.5 million, but the way in which his workload has decreased ever since he shifted to a closing role should alleviate concerns. 

Since he’ll officially be under team control for one more season, the Royals will also have the option to dangle Davis as a trade chip should an offer surface that allows them to maximize the return on their investment. 

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