MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

AL Central looking like one powerhouse division

Tigers are reigning champs, but pennant-winning Royals, Indians, White Sox eye top spot

AL Central looking like one powerhouse division

The Tigers are the king of the American League Central, and the king is always given his due. They would probably be the division favorites if the 2015 season began today.

But in this case probably is a big word.

More

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals reach one-year deal with Rios

Royals reach one-year deal with Rios

The Royals have secured the outfield help they've been looking for this winter, agreeing to a one-year contract with veteran Alex Rios.

CBSSports.com first reported the deal, which is said to be worth $11 million. A source also confirmed the terms to MLB.com, pending a physical.

More

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals sign Kendrys to 2-year deal

Free-agent slugger spent 2014 season with Twins, Mariners

Royals sign Kendrys to 2-year deal

The $17 million didn't hurt, but veteran hitter Kendrys Morales also donned a jersey with "Royals" across the chest on Tuesday because he believes Kansas City is poised for another postseason run or two.

"At first, I didn't think they would make the playoffs, but obviously they caught fire there at the end," Morales said through a translator. "They played real well, and that was the point I thought, 'OK, this could really happen for them.'"

More

Doug Miller and Adam McCalvy are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals add righty Pino on Major League deal

Royals add righty Pino on Major League deal

The Kansas City Royals have signed Yohan Pino to a Major League contract, the team announced Monday.

The 30-year-old right-hander made his debut this past season on June 19, and although he struggled a bit in the big leagues (2-5 with a 5.07 ERA in 11 starts) with the Twins, he showed promise while excelling in Triple-A.

More

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer co-hosted MLB Network Social Awards

|
Hosmer co-hosted MLB Network Social Awards

Dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,

I know that Neil Patrick Harris is hosting the upcoming Academy Awards, but I'm writing to you today to ask you to consider Eric Hosmer. Don't replace Neil (I'm sure he'd be OK with me using his first name) -- just let Eric join him.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Royals acquire Rule 5 pick Gustave from Red Sox

Royals acquire Rule 5 pick Gustave from Red Sox

SAN DIEGO -- The Royals kept busy Thursday by acquiring hard-throwing right-hander Jandel Gustave in a trade with the Red Sox.

Gustave, 22, was selected by the Red Sox from Houston's Triple-A roster with the No. 6 pick in the Major League phase of Thursday's Rule 5 Draft and dealt to Kansas City. The Royals are getting a pitcher, with a fastball that reaches triple digits, who has been a starter and reliever since being signed by Houston as an international free agent in May 2010.

More

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salvador Perez's 10 best Instagram posts

|
Salvador Perez's 10 best Instagram posts

Salvador Perez has this catching thing down pretty well. He's an All-Star, pennant-winning backstop who set the record for most innings caught in a season (and that was before heading to Japan for the All-Star series). But if there's one thing that Perez may be even better at, it's Instagram.

Like a tamer version of Jake Gyllenhaal's character in "Nightcrawler," Perez's phone is always rolling -- and we're all the better for it. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Royals plant seeds for future moves at Meetings

According to a source, the club also agreed to a deal with Morales

Royals plant seeds for future moves at Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- The Royals entered the new era of an American League title defense with some roster vacancies to fill, and the sunshine and relaxing vibe of San Diego didn't prevent them from getting to work on putting down the check marks.

The Royals came into the Winter Meetings with the publicly stated goals of landing a bat or two, including an outfielder, and a starting pitcher. By Thursday afternoon, as the team's brass departed Southern California, the Royals had appeared to have taken care of one of those priorities while also taking a chance on a Rule 5 pick that could end up paying off in years to come.

More

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dozier named to Fall League's Top Prospects Team

Most Valuable Player Greg Bird leads young stars following AFL season

Dozier named to Fall League's Top Prospects Team

The Arizona Fall League on Wednesday announced its 2014 Top Prospects Team, highlighted by league Most Valuable Player Greg Bird and baseball's top prospect Byron Buxton.

The 22-man Top Prospects Team includes at least one player from 16 Major League organizations. The Fall League managers and coaches voted on the team, taking into consideration the players' performances during the fall and their projected future in the Major Leagues.

More

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yost excited as Royals retool for run in 2015

Skipper says club remains focused on winning World Series title

Yost excited as Royals retool for run in 2015

SAN DIEGO -- Royals manager Ned Yost attacked his Winter Meetings media session on Monday in an energetic, demonstrative fashion that brought back memories of six weeks ago, when his team tore through October. His body language seemed to say, "Bring it on."

Yost is ready for the remaining winter moves his front office will make to fill the vacancies created by free agency departures. He's set to bring on February, when his team will reconvene in Surprise, Ariz., for Spring Training as the American League champion with the target on its back. He's prepared to deal with all the skeptics and doubters, just as he did in 2014.

More

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals reign with four-pack of GIBBY Awards

AL champions are top Postseason Storyline, while Holland, Davis, Moore receive honors

Royals reign with four-pack of GIBBY Awards

The Royals may have fallen short of baseball's ultimate prize last season, but they still took home plenty of hardware with multiple MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards.

The American League champions were recognized with 2014 GIBBY Awards for Closer, Executive and Setup Man of the Year as well as top Postseason Storyline on Saturday night in a live broadcast on MLB Network and MLB.com.

More

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winning atmosphere kept Hochevar in Kansas City

Reliever, who missed 2014 season, signed two-year deal with Royals

Winning atmosphere kept Hochevar in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY -- Royals reliever Luke Hochevar said sitting out the 2014 season while his team went to the World Series was the hardest thing he has ever done.

"Or not done," said Hochevar, who had Tommy John surgery on March 17. "To sit there when I knew it was our time to pop, to sit there and watch it ... I would rather experience what we did hurt than not experience it all. But in the same sense, watching us play for the world championship, it was hard not to say I wish I had the ball or this is my spot."

More

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wakamatsu to remain Royals' bench coach

Member of Kansas City staff was a finalist to become Rays' new manager

Wakamatsu to remain Royals' bench coach

While supportive of Don Wakamatsu's pursuit of another managerial job, the Royals learned on Friday that they will be retaining their bench coach for 2015.

Last month, Wakamatsu was named one of three finalists to replace Joe Maddon as the Rays' next manager. He then became one of two remaining candidates for the post after Raul Ibanez withdrew his name from consideration due to family concerns. Ultimately, however, Tampa Bay decided to give Kevin Cash, most recently the Indians' bullpen coach, his first managerial gig, sources tell MLB.com. The Rays have not confirmed the hiring of Cash.

More

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hochevar signs two-year deal with Royals

Reliever returns to KC after missing 2014 campaign with elbow injury

Hochevar signs two-year deal with Royals

An already formidable Royals bullpen may have gotten even better for 2015, as Kansas City welcomes back a familiar pitcher who ultimately decided not to leave.

A free agent for the first time in his career, Luke Hochevar opted to stick with the only professional organization he's known when he signed a two-year contract with the Royals on Thursday. The deal also includes a mutual option for 2017. Terms of the agreement were not released by the club, though CBSSports.com, which first broke news of an agreement on Wednesday, reported the contract to be worth $10 million.

More

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

None more professional than tireless Kaegel

Admired baseball journalist entering retirement after half-century in game

None more professional than tireless Kaegel

Those of us who have the pleasure of knowing Dick Kaegel also know that he is a sure thing.

You can depend on him. He will be at his post. He will deliver the goods; in this specific case, for the last 27 seasons, the news regarding the Kansas City Royals. He will be on time, he will report without fear or favor. Swiss watches -- expensive Swiss watches -- operate with less dependability than Dick Kaegel on his beat.

More

Mike Bauman is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prep shortstop Rodgers leads 2015 Draft class

Duke's Matuella, 2014 top pick Aiken follow Florida high school infielder on Top 50 list

Prep shortstop Rodgers leads 2015 Draft class

For the second time in their history, the Arizona Diamondbacks own the top pick in the First-Year Player Draft. The first time that happened, in 2005, they took a high school shortstop with a potent bat.

Ten years after grabbing Justin Upton, the D-backs could follow a similar path. Lake Mary (Fla.) High School shortstop Brendan Rodgers sits atop MLBPipeline.com's initial Draft Top 50 rankings, thanks to his three plus tools (bat, power, arm) complemented by two solid ones (speed, defense). Unlike Upton, who immediately moved to the outfield as a professional, Rodgers should remain at shortstop.

More

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals non-tender Bueno

Royals non-tender Bueno

The Royals declined to tender a 2015 contract to left-hander Francisley Bueno on Tuesday, making him a free agent.

The 33-year-old Bueno spent parts of the past three seasons with the Royals. He posted a 4.18 ERA in 30 appearances in 2014.

More

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals' Gordon reflects on World Series dash

Ninth-inning drama of Game 7 provides incentive for 2015

Royals' Gordon reflects on World Series dash

KANSAS CITY -- Throughout the offseason, Alex Gordon has heard the question many times: Should he, would he, could he have scored in the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series?

What happened, as Royals and Giants fans know quite well, was that after his two-out single and a two-base error, Gordon was stopped at third base by coach Mike Jirschele. Then Salvador Perez fouled out and the Giants won the game, 3-2, and the World Series championship.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals named Baseball America's top organization

Club's player development cited in building winning atmosphere

Royals named Baseball America's top organization

KANSAS CITY -- Homegrown is the by-word of success for the Royals and Baseball America recognized that in selecting the franchise as the publication's Organization of the Year for 2014.

This is the second time the Royals have won the award, which was established in 1982. They were also the winner in 1994.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chasing Tigers, not much tinkering for most of AL Central

White Sox add LaRoche, Duke, but Tribe, Twins, Royals yet to make big offseason splash

Chasing Tigers, not much tinkering for most of AL Central

The first few weeks of the Hot Stove season have been busy, but there is still plenty more action to come.

After re-signing the American League MVP runner-up and picking up club options on some complementary pieces, the Tigers are the AL Central team that everyone is looking at, as they must decide if they will spend big to bring back Max Scherzer in their quest to win their fifth straight division title. The rest of the division has remained relatively quiet thus far, save for the White Sox, who added a slugger and a key bullpen arm.

More

Royals deal Crow to Marlins for lefty Flynn

Miami Minor League right-hander Redman also heads to Kansas City

Royals deal Crow to Marlins for lefty Flynn

KANSAS CITY -- Aaron Crow's career with the Royals began with 13 straight scoreless outings and an All-Star selection in 2011. Now, after four seasons, he's been traded to Miami.

Crow was dealt to the Marlins on Friday in exchange for two pitchers, a potential starter in left-hander Brian Flynn and a right-handed reliever in Reid Redman.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals retain reliever Frasor on one-year deal

Right-hander's deal includes mutual option for 2016 season

Royals retain reliever Frasor on one-year deal

KANSAS CITY -- Eager to shore up the middle of the bullpen, the Royals on Friday announced the signing of free-agent right-hander Jason Frasor for 2015 with a mutual option for 2016.

The deal is for $1.25 million plus a possible $500,000 in performance bonuses for next season. The mutual option for 2016 is for $2 million plus $500,000 in performance bonuses, with a $550,000 buyout. That means Frasor is guaranteed at least $1.8 million.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gordon lights up Plaza to continue magical year

Moore joins Royals slugger on stage for 85th annual Thanksgiving event

Gordon lights up Plaza to continue magical year

KANSAS CITY -- Thousands came out to cheer Alex Gordon, but this time, not at Kauffman Stadium. On Thursday night, it was at the Country Club Plaza. And, oh yes -- the roar of the crowd was also directed at thousands of holiday lights.

Gordon, the Royals' left fielder of the American League champions, and Royals general manager Dayton Moore, the team's architect, were on a stage in the midst of the celebrated shopping and residential area to flip on the lights.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals Charities spreading goodwill all year round

Players participate in several fund-raising events in Kansas City area

Royals Charities spreading goodwill all year round

KANSAS CITY -- A World Series came to the Royals for the first time in 29 years, but many Kansas City organizations know there's something they can depend upon every year. That's Royals Charities, an ownership hallmark of the Glass family.

It has provided the Kansas City community and region many things for which to be thankful, donating more than $8.3 million to about 300 organizations since its inception in 2001.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler thanks KC for his time with the Royals

Butler thanks KC for his time with the Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Departed designated hitter Billy Butler gave thanks to Kansas City fans and the Royals organization on Thursday by taking out a full-page ad in the Thanksgiving edition of the Kansas City Star.

Butler, who became a free agent after the Royals declined their option on his 2015 contract, signed a three-year, $30 million deal a week ago with the Oakland A's. He'd been in the Kansas City organization since being drafted in the first round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, and he had spent most of the past eight seasons in a Royals uniform.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals acquire shortstop Jackson from Dodgers

Royals acquire shortstop Jackson from Dodgers

KANSAS CITY -- Always interested in possible shortstop backups for Alcides Escobar, the Royals on Wednesday acquired Ryan Jackson from the Dodgers for cash considerations.

Jackson, 26, missed most of the 2014 season with an injured right wrist. He had been designated for assignment on Monday after being with the Dodgers just three weeks -- they claimed him on waivers Nov. 3 from the Padres.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals' magical run to World Series wowed Matthews

By winning Wild Card, club played without pressure, says longtime broadcaster

Royals' magical run to World Series wowed Matthews

KANSAS CITY -- Denny Matthews, in broadcasting Royals games since their first season in 1969, has seen just about everything. So his take on the 2014 World Series edition has a background of 46 seasons of watching the club.

Matthews recently reflected on the late September and October developments as the Royals made their dash into the playoffs for the first time since 1985.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Billy Bean

Courageous coming out by Royals employee

Inspired by Kansas City's magical October bond, Schulte came out to the world

Courageous coming out by Royals employee

After I was introduced as MLB's Ambassador of Inclusion by Commissioner Bud Selig at the All-Star Game in Minneapolis in July, messages of encouragement came pouring in. The majority of them were from within the LGBT community, and they were both supportive and hopeful that this was the beginning of a new era in professional sports.

It was at that time that a friend of mine made an e-mail introduction between me and a young man named Matt Schulte, who works for the Kansas City Royals.

More

Billy Bean is Major League Baseball's ambassador for inclusion. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dye, Gordon among first-timers on Hall of Fame ballot

Dye, Gordon among first-timers on Hall of Fame ballot

The newest list of candidates for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 is headlined by dominant pitchers like Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, as well as power hitter Gary Sheffield.

But beyond the stars, others who had stellar Major League careers also are eligible for the first time. Although they didn't throw with Johnson's velocity or swing with Sheffield's ferocity, at one time or another, many of them carried their clubs and will forever be remembered by baseball fans.

More

Adam Berry and Cash Kruth are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nix elects free agency instead of assignment to Minors

Nix elects free agency instead of assignment to Minors

KANSAS CITY -- Infielder Jayson Nix has elected free agency rather than accept an assignment to the Royals' Triple-A club at Omaha.

The move leaves the Royals with 37 players on their 40-man roster.

More

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.