After a quick trade to start the offseason the Royals have been relatively quiet compared to years past and have limited their spending to the minor league free agent pool. In fact the only real spending the Royals have done was the signing of Noel Arguelles to a major league deal. Have I mentioned that I love that deal?
The Royals have now added two more minor league free agents, both of which were at one point considered first round talents. Let's start with a pitcher named Phillip Humber. Humber was drafted number 3 overall by the New York Mets and was shipped to Minnesota along with Carlos Gomez for Johan Santanna. Humber possesses a fastball that tops out at about 90 mph, an above average curveball, and an average changeup. Humber will probably be given the opportunity to compete for a bullpen spot in Spring Training but I would bet that he finds himself in Omaha's rotation to start the 2010 season. I like the move simply because there is virtually no risk involved and it provides the organization with an arm that at one point in time seemed to have an incredible amount of potential.
The Royals also have resigned former first round pick Shane Costa to a minor league deal. Costa has had limited time with the big league club, but hasn't ever shown enough to stick as a fourth outfielder. I don't have a problem with this signing but I am also somewhat surprised. Costa missed almost the entire 2009 season after getting injured on opening day for the Omaha Royals. I am surprised because it already looks like there will be a crowded outfield in Omaha for 2010 with David Lough, Jordan Parraz, Tim Smith and maybe even Jarrod Dyson needing sufficient playing in order to develop. The Royals have also signed several minor league free agent outfielder so how the playing time shakes out will be an interesting thing to keep an eye on as Spring develops.