Manny Pina among minor-league players qualifying for free agency

   Catcher Manny Pina doesn't have to remain with the Royals' after clearing waivers last week and being assigned outright to Class AAA Omaha.

   Pina, 25, is one of several players in the organization who qualifies as a minor-league free agent. Players must have at least six years of professional service and be unsigned for the 2013 season.

   Veteran third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who split time this season at Omaha and Class AA Northwest Arkansas, has already signed a minor-league deal with the Miami Marlins.

   Others who qualify for free agency: left-handed pitchers Doug Davis, Thomas Melgarejo and Edgar Osuna; catcher Cody Clark; infielders Mario Lisson, Kurt Mertins, Johan Santa and Lewis Urena and outfielder Aaron Guiel.

   Guiel served as a non-playing player/coach and is expected to remain with the organization in a similar capacity. 

   Pina played just 48 games at Rookie Surprise and Northwest Arkansas after returning from a knee injury suffered in spring training. The Royals recalled him to the big leagues on Sept. 1, but he appeared in only one game.

   The Royals sent Pina through waivers last week in a series of roster moves. When he went unclaimed, he was assigned outright to Omaha. Even if he agrees to terms on a new minor-league deal, he will be eligible for selection by other teams next month in the Rule 5 Draft.


Doug Davis (HiA), Thomas Melgarejo (HiA), Edgar Osuna (AA)

C:  Cody Clark (AAA), Manny Pina (AAA)

2B:  Kurt Mertins (AAA), Johan Santa (R), Lewis Urena (R)

3B:  Kevin Kouzmanoff (AA), Mario Lisson (AA)

OF:  Aaron Guiel (HiA)