The Kansas City Royals acquired their third pitcher of the winter, their second to come off waivers, when they picked up Guillermo Moscoso off waivers from the Colorado Rockies. Interestingly, for all the talk of increased spending in the free agent market this year the Royals are still yet to actually sign a free agent. Of the three pitchers they have acquired the most high profile was Ervin Santana in a trade and they also have picked up Chris Volstad off waivers.
Moscoso seems very much along the lines of Volstad as far as quality goes; this year with Colorado he worked primarily as a reliever (though that does not necessarily mean a lot) and had a 6.12 ERA. But the year before, as a member of the Oakland Athletics, he was primarily a starter and posted an excellent 3.38 ERA. This is an interesting move from the Royals, obviously they have seen before in Jeremy Guthrie that pitching stats in Colorado are not necessarily reliable and I think this is a decent gamble. As with Volstad, there is always Spring Training to see how he looks.
The Royals also picked up catcher Brett Hayes from the Miami Marlins. Hayes is something of a career backup and there is no hint that he will be anything but that in Kansas City. But he is very defensively minded and the Royals do need an improved defensive backup to Salvador Perez. Right now the man in possession is Brayan Peña and he is very poor defensively. He makes up for it a bit with some power with the bat, but that’s not what the Royals need. It might be what another team needs though and I would not be at all surprised if Peña was traded between now and Opening Day.
The one departure from the club was reliever Blake Wood being claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Indians. Wood was generally a solid arm out of the bullpen in 2011 (though he was poor in 2010), but missed all of 2012 with Tommy John surgery. The Royals will not shed many tears about his departure; he was talented, but the Royals’ bullpen is overflowing with young talent and he was certainly not missed this year.
That Tommy John surgery that kept out Wood also prematurely ended the seasons of starters Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy. They were both reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Friday to leave the Royals’ roster at exactly forty.