Saturday, June 23, 2018
Sports

Surging Royals deal for slugger

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Royals tried to bolster their offense Monday by acquiring OF Josh Willingham from the Twins, a move the franchise hopes will help end a playoff drought that stretches back nearly three decades.

Kansas City had won seven straight games entering its series opener against the A's, climbing into the second wild-card spot and a half-game back of the AL Central-leading Tigers. The Royals have not been to the postseason since 1985, when they won the World Series.

"Obviously the goal was to win with the Twins," Willingham said from Houston, where the Twins were preparing to play the Astros. "Unfortunately, we weren't. Now I have a chance to go help another club and hopefully make the playoffs."

Willingham is expected to arrive in Kansas City in time for tonight's game.

The Twins picked up minor-league RHP Jason Adam in the trade. The Royals agreed to take on the remainder of Willingham's contract, about $1.8 million of the $7 million that he was making in the final year of his three-year deal.

Willingham, 35, was hitting just .210 for the Twins this season, but with a solid .345 on-base percentage and a .402 slugging percentage, appealing for a Royals club short on both power and walks.

"We see his presence in the middle of our lineup somewhere, and being that presence that can get some big hits for us," Royals GM Dayton Moore said.

MVP TO DL: The Pirates put CF Andrew McCutchen, the reigning NL MVP, on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken rib after waiting a week to see how it would heal. The move was retroactive to Aug. 4.

CARDINALS: C Yadier Molina had the cast removed from his surgically repaired right thumb and can begin some light baseball-related activities. Molina, who had a torn ligament repaired July 11, isn't expected to return before September.

METS: Rookie RHP Jacob deGrom went on the 15-day disabled list with what the team described as rotator cuff tendinitis.

PADRES: OF Rymer Liriano, one of the team's top prospects, was called up from Triple-A El Paso in the first major move by new GM A.J. Preller.

TWINS: 1B Joe Mauer, out since July 2 with a strained oblique, came off the 15-day disabled list and was in the starting lineup.

YANKEES: RHP Michael Pineda, who hasn't pitched in the majors since April 23 because of back and shoulder problems, is set to rejoin the rotation Wednesday.

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