Because this passes for news at this particular point in the offseason, it’s my blog duty to inform you the Royals did not tender a contract offer to left-handed reliever Francisley Bueno. He is now a free agent.
Tuesday was the deadline for teams to offer contracts to players not under contract for the 2015 season. If they didn’t offer a contract, the player would become a free agent. Every year this deadline usually impacts players in their arbitration years, as those years become relatively expensive and teams chose not to pay mediocrity. (Although there are still teams like the Twins. Welcome, Torii Hunter!) With the Royals roster including eight arbitration-eligible players, many thought Tim Collins was a non-tender candidate. Instead, it was his left-handed bullpen comrade Bueno.
It’s a moderate surprise in that Bueno has just under two years of major league service and is yet to become eligible for arbitration. Last year, he made just above the league minimum salary. Although next year, he will be 34 and in 2014 he really wasn’t good. Besides, he didn’t make any postseason rosters as the Royals chose Collins ahead of him for every series.
The Royals 40-man roster now stands at 38.
The really good news of Tuesday was that the aforementioned Hunter made his decision for whom to play for in 2015. And it wasn’t the Royals!
Hunter signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal to return to the Twins. An odd move for a couple of reasons. One, I had heard Hunter wanted to play for a contender. I know we still have a way to go this winter, but I’m pretty certain the Twins aren’t going to be joining the contention queue when the season opens. Second, what are the Twins thinking? They need a “veteran presence?” I suppose. But why not look in the bargain bin for that? Because I’m pretty sure no one looked at this signing and thought, “You know, Hunter was exactly the guy the Twins needed to put them in the playoff mix for next season.”
Anyway, I’m glad he’s their problem. Last year, Hunter was worth 1.1 fWAR, which means his dollar value according to Fangraphs was close to $7 million. Account for inflation and aging and Hunter will be lucky to be worth that much to the Twins in 2015. Like I said… Their problem.