As the Royals opened spring camp Wednesday in Arizona, an official from the organization was removed from an IMG Academy site in Florida where a collection of free agents are working out.
The free-agent camp in Bradenton, Fla., is being held by the players association after a sluggish winter market left dozens of players without contracts as spring training begins. The Royals scout was asked to leave after attempting to watch, a source confirmed to The Star. Reporters have also been barred from viewing the proceedings.
The incident, and the no-media policy, set off a range of reactions, from humorous to indignant, on social media in the afternoon. It was later learned — and confirmed — that the scout worked for the Royals organization.
Former Royals Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, both represented by agent Scott Boras, are not attending the free-agent camp, which includes many free agents but few, if any, represented by Boras, who offers his players his own training sites.
Tony Clark, the former major-leaguer and executive director of the players association, did attend the camp, according to The Associated Press.
“When you have the type of numbers we’ve had of unsigned guys at this juncture, that’s cause for concern,” Clark said. “It’s cause for concern from our end and it’s cause for concern from an industry standpoint.”