Roster moves for the Kansas City Royals continue as they approach this offseason’s Winter Meetings. The meetings, the Rule 5 draft and the tender deadline are all coming up soon, so this certainly won’t be the end of the long and often arduous roster tweaking process. Yesterday, KC took two steps closer to their final product in a move that sent one Royal to the minor leagues and bid another a fond farewell.
In order to protect four young players from December’s Rule 5 draft, KC needed to add them to the 40-man roster. Falu and Arguelles (as well as former backup catcher George Kottaras) were the roster casualties that came from this move (although Arguelles was retained after no one claimed him off waivers.) Along with Arguelles, Falu was designated for assignment on Nov. 20. On the 25th, Kansas City requested waivers for an unconditional release. This 30-year-old will now enter free agency after more than a decade with the Royals franchise.
After being drafted in the 21st round of the 2003 draft, Falu spent the majority of 11 seasons in KC’s farm system. In six seasons and 578 games with the triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers, Falu recorded a .283/.342/.365 slash line. He also provided reliable defense at a variety of positions; with over 100 games at second base, shortstop, third base and right field in minor league ball, Falu has a combined .968 fielding percentage.
When Falu finally got his chance at the major league level, he provided solid defense and a .341 batting average in 85 plate appearances. Although the franchise decided to go another way with that role, Falu will always be fondly remembered by fans for his 25-game stretch of unexpectedly awesome play. Here’s to hoping that Irving follows in the steps of other long-term minor-leaguers like Raul Ibanez to find MLB success in his career’s latter years.