Report: New Royals management interested in extension with Bobby Witt Jr.
After Dayton Moore was fired earlier this week, Royals GM J.J. Picollo was promoted to lead the Royals’ baseball operations department, and he met today with the media (including The Kansas City Star’s Lynn Worthy and 610 Sports Radio’s Josh Vernier). Much has yet to be determined heading into what could be a busy offseason for the club, and Picollo said he has yet to make a decision on manager Mike Matheny or any members of the coaching staff.
In terms of players, Picollo said that the front office is “in the very infantile stages” of considering an extension for Bobby Witt Jr., though the team is indeed interested in such a deal. The 22-year-old is completing a strong rookie season, and an extension would both solidify Witt as a cornerstone piece of the Royals’ future, and also give K.C. some cost certainty going forward. Witt is already controlled through the 2027 season, however, so there isn’t necessarily any rush for Picollo and company to immediately work out an extension.
More from around the American League…
- The AL Central’s other new front office boss also met with reporters earlier this week, with new Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris telling The Detroit Free Press’ Evan Petzold and other media members that the club simply plans to improve, without a specific timeline or any indication as to whether the Tigers will take a step back to reload or try to build and contend in 2023. “I am treating this as an opportunity for us to get better this winter….And we’re going to look up at the end of the winter and we’re going to have a much better feel for when the most competitive Tigers team is going to come out,” Harris said. “That’s how I believe every baseball team should be built. I don’t believe in strict five-year plans with specific benchmarks that you have to reach year over year. There’s too much variability in the sport to define a plan as concretely as that.”
- Impending free agent Martin Perez and the Rangers will wait until after the season to discuss an extension, according to The Athletic’s Levi Weaver (Twitter link). There has been speculation for months that both and Perez and the team were interested in reaching a new deal to keep the left-hander in Arlington, and while a deal hasn’t yet been reached, there is still plenty of time for the two sides to talk before Perez is scheduled to hit the open market. Perez is enjoying a career year, with a 2.90 ERA over 183 1/3 innings and his first All-Star selection.
- Yandy Diaz has missed the Rays’ last five games due to a sore shoulder, but the infielder told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times and other reporters that he is doing “a lot better” after getting a cortisone shot earlier this week. It doesn’t appear as though Diaz will require a trip to the injured list, but it also isn’t yet known when he might be back on the field. Diaz has been a big part of Tampa’s offense, hitting .292/.399/.419 over 549 plate appearances this year, resulting in an excellent 145 wRC+.