MLB notebook: Royals add offense punch by trading for Willingham
The Royals acquired outfielder Josh Willingham from the Twins for minor league pitcher Jason Adam in an attempt to bolster their offense for the stretch run.
The move was made shortly before the Royals, winners of seven straight, opened a four-game series against AL West-leading Oakland on Monday night. Kansas City had climbed into the second wild-card spot and was just a half game behind Detroit in the AL Central entering the day.
“Obviously the goal was to win with the Twins,” Willingham said. “Unfortunately, we weren't. Now I have a chance to go help another club and hopefully make the playoffs.”
Willingham was hitting just .210 for the Twins this season, but his 12 homers in 224 at-bats were appealing for a Royals club that has struggled to find power.
He hit a career-best 35 homers with 110 RBIs two years ago.
Willingham, 35, is owed $1.836 million for the final 48 days of the regular season. He is in the final year of a three-year, $21 million contract.
• The Mets placed right-hander Jacob deGrom on the 15-day disabled list with right rotator cuff tendinitis then summoned Rafael Montero from Triple-A Las Vegas as his replacement. In his first big-league start since May, Montero will take the mound Tuesday night against the Nationals. In 16 starts, deGrom is 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA.
• Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda (right shoulder) will come off the disabled list Wednesday and make his first start since his suspension for using pine tar on the mound. Pineda last pitched April 23, when he was ejected from a game against Boston. He received a 10-game suspension from Major League Baseball for “possessing a foreign substance on his person.”
• The Padres called up one of their top prospects, outfielder Rymer Liriano, in the first major move by new general manager A.J. Preller. Liriano was set to start in right field and bat seventh against the Rockies on Monday night. Liriano hit .452 (28 for 62) with 16 extra-base hits and 13 RBIs in 16 games with Triple-A El Paso. Outfielder Jeff Francoeur was designated for assignment.