New Royals backup catcher Erik Kratz, 34, did not make his first major-league start until four years ago with Philadelphia and has since been traded twice, including Monday’s move that brought him to Kansas City, but he says he’s just happy to have another opportunity.
The list of players the KC Royals may be looking at includes Rangers right fielder Alex Rios, Boston starter John Lackey, San Diego starter Ian Kennedy, Philadelphia reliever Antonio Bastardo and Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller. The Royals also have had interest in Phillies players like outfielder Marlon Byrd, starter A.J. Burnett, first baseman Ryan Howard, second baseman Chase Utley — but appear to have backed off.
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In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Minnesota Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitcher who has thrown 100 mile per hour fastballs in a California summer league but has never been drafted.