Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Royals Release Jimmy Gobble

I’ve seen the Royals release a lot of players over the years. I expected it in most cases. Not this one. They cut Jimmy Gobble this morning. Gobble was a sandwich pick in the 1999 draft (taken 43rd overall). He certainly had his problems last season, but Trey Hillman just admitted a couple of weeks ago that he mishandled Gobble last season by not using him as a situational lefty.

From what Dick Kaegel is reporting, the Royals simply don’t want to carry a situational lefty on their roster. I’m not sure why they didn’t try to trade him instead, but maybe they tried and his numbers last season hampered any chances of moving him. One thing is for sure, they’ll save some money by making the move today:

By asking release waivers on Gobble, the Royals met a money-saving deadline. They're obligated to pay him just one-sixth of his $1.35 million salary or $225,000 instead of one-fourth of that salary ($337,500) if he were released after March 18.

The Royals have continued to stockpile arms and they’ve re-loaded their bullpen for 2009. I’m surprised that they don’t see a place in the pen for Gobble, but I understand not wanting to carry a situational lefty—especially if you have enough guys who can get both righties and lefties out. I just hate seeing a sandwich pick not pan out.

The Royals went out and signed Anthony Lerew to a Minor League contract and they invited him to camp. He’s a power pitcher who is returning from Tommy John surgery. He comes from the Braves’ organization (big surprise, huh?) and is 0-2 in 11 games at the Major League level with an 8.31 ERA and 1.98 WHIP.

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