Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Royals Ink Gobble and Brown

The Royals avoided arbitration with Emil Brown and Jimmy Gobble, signing both to 1-year contracts. Gobble signed for $712,500. Gobble had a good year in the pen last year, striking out 80 in 84 innings. Certainly a good sign for a pitcher who used to strike out one batter every 3 innings. Gobble's stuff is probably best suited for the bullpen, especially since his fastball can reach 94 mph more regularly. He can also spot start and did a decent job last year (5.14 ERA as starter).

The Royals signed Emil Brown to a one-year, $3.4 million deal. Brown has been one of the Royals' most productive bats over the past two seasons, leading the team in RBI's over that period. With Brown and Sanders under contract, the Royals will have plenty of time to let Teahen transition to the outfield and give Gordon as much time as needed in the minors.

The Royals also signed Alex Gonzalez to a minor-league contract. He was downright awful for the Devil Rays last year, hitting .111/.158/.111 in 36 ABs. His career line of .243/.302/.391 isn't anything to brag about, but he is a good backup shortstop.

The Royals are still negotiating with Todd Wellemeyer. Wellemeyer has good stuff, but his even K/BB ratio is certainly a concern for next year. He may have trouble repeating a pretty good season last year if he can't improve his command. Nonetheless, he's a cheap, young reliever, so he's worth re-signing.


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