The Royals’ pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13 to Surprise, Ariz. There’s still time for another salary-dumping trade, more minor-league deals or, clears throat, a blockbuster free-agent signing.
In fact, expect more tweaks and additions. But at the moment, the club is set to have a roster of 63 players at its major-league camp, including 23 non-roster invitees. Here is a first look at the camp roster:
The Royals’ 40-man roster
B/T, Ht., Wt., Age
Miguel Almonte, R/R, 6-2, 210, 24
Almonte was set to make his first career start in late May at Yankee Stadium before an afternoon game was postponed by rain. His season was later derailed by a rotator cuff strain. Before the injury, he posted a 1.86 ERA in 29 innings at Class AA Northwest Arkansas and a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings at Class AAA Omaha.
Scott Barlow, R/R, 6-3, 215, 25
Signed to a one-year contract in December, Barlow profiles as a low-risk, high-reward acquisition. After undergoing Tommy John surgery early in his career, Barlow moved through the Dodgers’ minor-league system, posting a 2.10 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 19 starts (107 1/3 innings) at Class AA Tulsa in 2017.
Danny Duffy, L/L, 6-3, 205, 29
Duffy’s performance in 2017 was perhaps better than perception. He logged an 117 ERA-plus, which was down just slightly from his 123 ERA-plus during a breakout 2016 season. Still, he battled oblique and elbow injuries and underwent a clean-out procedure in early October. He’ll headline the rotation in 2018 while trying to remain healthy.
Heath Fillmyer, R/R, 6-1, 180, 23
Fillmyer was acquired in late January in the trade that sent Brandon Moss and Ryan Buchter to Oakland. He logged a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts at Class AA Midland last season. He appears ticketed for a rotation spot in the minor leagues.
Brian Flynn, L/L, 6-7, 250, 27
His 2017 season was wrecked by a fall in his barn in the days before spring training last year. Flynn will attempt to move on and reclaim a spot in the Royals’ bullpen this season.
Sam Gaviglio, R/R, 6-2 195, 27
Claimed off waivers from Seattle late last season, Gaviglio, a rookie, made two starts and posted a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings across four appearances. He’ll offer rotation depth this spring.
Jesse Hahn, R/R, 6-4, 215, 28
Acquired from Oakland last month, Hahn’s pure stuff grades out well and he had early success in his career. He’s also been ravaged by injury. He has no options remaining, however, so expect him to claim a spot in the rotation or bullpen — or be jettisoned (maybe by trade?) late in camp.
Jason Hammel, R/R, 6-6, 225, 35
Hammel, a veteran starter, is attempting to rebound from a 5.29 ERA in 32 starts last season. His peripheral numbers — strikeouts, walks, etc. — were better than his overall performance. But he was hurt by the home run (26 allowed). On a rebuilding club, Hammel also projects as a trade chip, either to trim salary or gain some return value if he pitches well. He’s owed $11 million in salary and a buyout for 2019 and will almost surely will leave the Royals as a free agent after the season.
Kelvin Herrera, R/R, 5-10, 200, 28
A two-time All-Star, Herrera scuffled in 2017 after taking over as the club’s primary closer. The Royals don’t have a natural replacement — for now. But Herrera will also reach free agency for the first time this winter, which could make him a valuable asset at the trade deadline or before.
Tim Hill, L/L, 6-2, 200, 28
A left-handed reliever with a funky delivery, Hill was added to the 40-man roster this winter.
Jakob Junis, R/R, 6-2, 225, 25
Junis recorded a productive rookie season, posting a 4.30 ERA in 20 appearances, including 16 starts. He’ll seek to win a rotation spot and surpass 170 innings in a season for the first time in his career.
Nate Karns, R/R, 6-3, 225, 30
Acquired for Jarrod Dyson before last season, Karns started well before nagging arm issues sidelined him and resulted in season-ending surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome. He’ll be in line for a rotation spot.
Brad Keller, R/R, 6-5, 230, 22
One of two Rule 5 selections this winter, Keller spent last season at Class AA Jackson. He must make the 25-man roster or be offered back to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ian Kennedy, R/R, 6-0, 200, 33
As expected, Kennedy declined to opt out of the final three years and $49 million on his contract. He’ll seek to bounce back after his ERA ballooned from 3.68 in 2016 to 5.38 last season.
Andres Machado, R/R, 6-0, 175, 24
A hard-throwing young right-hander, Machado was a September callup last season. He’s started and relieved in the minor leagues.
Brandon Maurer, R/R, 6-5, 230, 27
Maurer is the last former Padres pitcher left from the trade that sent Matt Strahm, Travis Wood and minor-league infielder Esteury Ruiz to San Diego last season. In his first half-season, he could not translate his big arm into success, putting up an 8.10 ERA in 26 appearances.
Kevin McCarthy, R/R, 6-3, 200, 26
A homegrown reliever, McCarthy was up and down from Omaha last season, recording a 3.20 ERA and striking out 5.4 batters per nine innings.
Trevor Oaks, R/R, 6-3, 220, 25
The main prize in the three-way deal that sent reliever Scott Alexander to the Dodgers, Oaks will compete for a spot in the starting rotation.
Wily Peralta, R/R, 6-1, 255, 28
Another reclamation project, the Royals signed Peralta to a one-year, $1.525 million contract in the offseason. He once was a staple in the Brewers’ starting rotation. He’ll be given the chance to start or will move to the bullpen.
Eric Skoglund, L/L, 6-7, 200, 25
A young left-hander, Skoglund debuted last season and will offer rotation depth. Based on the numbers, for now, he appears ticketed for Class AAA Omaha.
Burch Smith, R/R, 6-4, 215, 27
Another Rule 5 pick, Smith recently hit 100 mph in the Arizona Fall League and has major-league experience. He must make the 25-man roster or be offered back to Tampa Bay.
Eric Stout, L/L, 6-3, 185, 25
Stout, a left-hander, had a strong camp last season before posting a 2.99 ERA in 45 appearances at Omaha. A former 13th-round pick in 2014, he’ll compete for a bullpen slot.
Kyle Zimmer, R/R, 6-3, 225, 26
The former first-round pick in 2012 is still trying to make his major-league debut. He threw 36 2/3 innings last season while battling more arm issues.
B/T, Ht., Wt., Age
Drew Butera, R/R, 6-1, 200, 34
Butera is entering the final year of a contract signed before last season. He’ll back up starter Salvador Perez once again.
Cam Gallagher, R/R, 6-3, 230, 25
Gallagher made his major-league debut last season while Perez missed time because of injury. Gallagher batted .250 with a .333 on-base percentage in 24 at-bats.
Salvador Perez, R/R, 6-3, 240, 27
Perez, a five-time All-Star, battled a recurring intercostal injury last season. He played in 129 games, his fewest since 2012. He is under contract for four more seasons.
Meibrys Viloria, L/R, 5-11, 175, 21
A promising young catcher from Colombia, Viloria was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason. This will be his first year in major-league spring training.
B/T, Ht., Wt., Age
Cheslor Cuthbert, R/R, 6-1, 190, 25
Cuthbert projects as the natural replacement for Mike Moustakas at third base, though he could have some camp competition from former first-round pick Hunter Dozier.
Hunter Dozier, R/R, 6-4, 220, 26
The question: Where can Dozier play? He’s been blocked at third base. He’s moved around to the outfield. He may spend some time at first base in spring training. For now, he’s trying to make the big-league club after an injury-laden 2017.
Samir Dueñez, L/R, 6-1, 195, 21
Still just 21, Dueñez batted .252 with a .304 on-base percentage in 132 games at Class AA Northwest Arkansas. He must improve his contact rate, though. He struck out 116 times while taking 37 walks last season.
Alcides Escobar, R/R, 6-1, 185, 31
Escobar returned on a one-year deal that could pay him up to $4 million this season. He’s started all 162 games during the last two seasons while putting up his normal paltry offensive numbers. In 2016 and 2017, he batted .256 with a .282 on-base percentage.
Whit Merrifield, R/R, 6-0, 195, 29
Merrifield established himself as an every-day player in 2017, batting .288 with a .324 on-base percentage and a career-high 19 homers. He also led the American League with 34 stolen bases.
Raúl Mondesi, S/R, 6-1, 185, 22
The return of Escobar means the Royals will be content to bring Mondesi along slowly after deeming him ready to start the year in the major leagues last season. Mondesi batted .305 with a .340 OBP and a career-high .539 slugging percentage. But he managed to play in just 85 games at Class AAA Omaha because of injuries.
Ramón Torres, S/R, 5-11, 190, 25
Torres, who turned 25 last month, made his major-league debut last season. He can play multiple infield positions and could project as a possible backup or utility man.
B/T, Ht., Wt., Age
Jorge Bonifacio, R/R, 6-1, 224, 24
Bonifacio had 17 homers in 113 games as a rookie, but the addition of Melky Cabrera cut into his playing time. Expect him to play close to every day in a corner outfield spot.
Billy Burns, S/R, 5-9, 170, 28
Acquired in a 2016 trade, Burns spent most of last season at Class AAA Omaha. He’s one of many internal center field candidates who could compete for time during camp.
Alex Gordon, L/R, 6-1, 220, 34
Gordon has batted just .214 with a .302 on-base percentage and .649 OPS since signing a four-year, $72 million contract after the 2015 World Series. He has two more years left on the deal. He did win another Gold Glove last season, his fifth, and could be forced into more action in center field as a means to find room for Bonifacio and Jorge Soler.
Paulo Orlando, R/R, 6-2, 210, 32
Orlando followed a breakout 2016 with a frustrating 2017. He was sent down to the minors to work on his swing. He fractured his shin on a foul ball. Yet he could compete for the starting job in center field, offering a stopgap before a possible Bubba Starling callup in the summer.
Jorge Soler, R/R, 6-4, 215, 26
Acquired for Wade Davis before last season, Soler’s first season was a massive disappointment. Injuries. Ineffectiveness. Just 35 games in the major leagues. He’ll try to get back on track this season while competing for at-bats in right field or at designated hitter.
Bubba Starling, R/R, 6-4, 210, 25
The former first-round pick in 2011 showed signs of life at the plate last season before being sidelined by injuries. He’ll turn 26 years old this summer. A decent start at Class AAA Omaha could result in a callup to play center field.
Non-roster invitees (23)
B/T, Ht., Wt., Age
Scott Blewett, R/R, 6-6, 210, 21
Blewett is a 21-year-old former second-round pick in 2014. Held in high regard throughout the organization, the 6-foot-6 right-hander will be in major-league camp for the first time. He had a 4.07 ERA in 27 starts at Class A Wilmington last year.
Blaine Boyer, R/R, 6-3, 225, 36
Boyer retired from baseball in 2012 and took a job at a brokerage firm. But he reached out to Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who knew Boyer from their shared time in the Braves’ organization, ahead of the 2013 season and asked for a job. He was released after 13 games at Class AAA Omaha and pitched in 32 games with the Red Sox last season, posting a 4.35 ERA over 41 1/3 innings.
Foster Griffin, R/L, 6-3, 200, 22
A first-round pick in 2014, Griffin made the All-Star Futures Game last season. The southpaw finished the season at Class AA Northwest Arkansas, where he put up a 3.61 ERA.
Mike Broadway, R/R, 6-5, 215, 30
Broadway appeared in 25 games for the San Francisco Giants in 2015 and 2016. Years ago, he was a fourth-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2005.
Kevin Lenik, R/R, 6-5, 225, 26
The Royals found Lenik in the independent Frontier League last year. He finished the season with a 1.88 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 24 innings at Class AAA Omaha. He’ll hunt for a bullpen spot.
Richard Lovelady, L/L, 6-0, 175, 22
A 10th-round pick in 2016, Lovelady was a revelation last season. Armed with a fastball in the mid to upper 90s and a deceptive left-handed delivery, Lovelady had a 1.62 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings at Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas. He’ll be a candidate to join the bullpen at some point, though his path could be made more difficult because he is not yet on the 40-man roster.
Seth Maness, R/R, 6-0, 190, 29
A former reliever with the Cardinals, Maness is back in camp with the Royals, attempting to get his career back on track after injury.
Glenn Sparkman, S/R, 6-2, 210, 25
The Royals lost Sparkman to Toronto in the 2016 Rule 5 draft. He was designated for assignment last July and returned to the Royals.
Josh Staumont, R/R, 6-3, 200, 24
Staumont took a step back in 2017, issuing 97 walks in 124 2/3 innings. Staumont can touch 100 mph and has one of the most dynamic arms in the organization. The question is whether he can find the command to succeed at the major-league level.
B/T, Ht., Wt., Age
Nicholas Dini, R/R, 5-8, 180, 24
A 14th-round pick in 2014, Dini is a product of Wagner University. He played last season at Class A Lexington and Class AA Northwest Arkansas.
Parker Morin, L/R, 5-11, 195, 26
A 14th-round pick in 2012, Morin is returning to major-league camp.
Chase Vallot, R/R, 6-0, 215, 21
One of the more intriguing prospects in the Royals’ system, Vallot has offered glimpses of power and plate discipline. He hit 12 homers at Class A Wilmington last season and posted a .380 on-base percentage. He batted just .231, however, and struck out 127 times.
B/T, Ht., Wt., Age
Humberto Arteaga, R/R, 6-0, 194, 24
Once signed for more than $1 million out of Venezuela, Arteaga is a defensive-oriented shortstop who finished last season at Class AA Northwest Arkansas.
Cody Asche, L/R, 6-1, 205, 27
Asche is a former Nebraska standout who has played parts of five seasons with the Phillies and White Sox. He has played third base and some outfield in his career.
Ryan Goins, L/R, 5-10, 180, 30
Goins signed a minor-league deal with the Royals after spending the last five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s played second base and shortstop and grades out well on defense.
Jack Lopez, R/R, 5-9, 165, 25
A 16th-round pick in 2011, Lopez graduated to Omaha last season.
Nicky Lopez, L/R, 5-11, 175, 23
After a breakout performance in the Arizona Fall League —.383 batting average with a 1.001 OPS — Lopez positioned himself as one of the Royals’ most promising young prospects. A fifth-round pick out of Creighton in 2016, Lopez projects as an above-average defensive player.
Erick Mejia, S/R, 5-11, 155, 23
Acquired from the Dodgers this offseason along with pitcher Trevor Oaks, Mejia spent most of last season at Class AA Tulsa, batting .289 with a .357 on-base percentage.
Ryan O’Hearn, L/L, 6-3, 216, 24
O’Hearn batted .253 with a .785 OPS and 22 homers across two minor-league levels last season.
Frank Schwindel, R/R, 6-1, 205, 25
An 18th-round pick out of St. John’s in 2013, Schwindel has one standout tool: He can hit. He batted .329 with a career-high .890 OPS and 23 homers last season while splitting time between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha.
B/T, Ht., Wt., Age
Tyler Collins, L/L, 5-11, 215, 27
Collins spent parts of the last four seasons with the Detroit Tigers. He signed a minor-league deal this offseason.
Donnie Dewees, L/L, 5-11, 205, 24
Acquired in exchange for pitcher Alec Mills last year, Dewees, a center fielder, hit .270 with a .342 OBP at Northwest Arkansas.
Terrance Gore, R/R, 5-7, 165, 26
No longer on the 40-man roster, the speedster Gore’s path back to the big leagues became more complicated this offseason. But he remained with the only organization he’s known by signing a minor-league deal.