Royals sign Roman Quinn in minor league deal

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The Royals have signed an outfielder Roman Quin to a minor league deal, pursuant to a tweet by the Omaha Storm Chasers, the club’s Triple-A affiliate.

Quinn has spent most of his career with the Phillies since they drafted him in 2011. Despite being considered a very notable contender, even finishing last on Baseball America‘s Top 100 list in 2013, he was thwarted by major league injuries. Although he has appeared in six MLB seasons to date, he has only played a total of 201 games in that tenure and has never played more than 50 in a single season. With an MLB batting line of .223/.300/.343 and a wRC+ of 74, he’s never been able to really get going at the plate in his stop-and-start career. Despite that tepid performance at the plate, he’s still valuable with his speed as Statcast estimates his glove work was worth 7 outs above average in his career. Quinn also has 43 stolen bases so far in his limited MLB action.

The Phillies drafted him late last year, with Quinn eventually choosing a free hand. He signed a underage contract with the Marlins but returned to the open market after failing to make the club’s opening day roster. He returned to organizing the Phillies a few days later for a minor league deal and was selected back to the big league team in late April. He’s remained healthy so far this year but hasn’t found much success on the plate yet. His 40-plate hitting line this year is currently .162/.225/.189, wRC+ from just 20. He’s also hit 37.5% of his plate appearances. He was drafted into action last week to clarify waivers and decide on a return to free agency.

Quinn won’t immediately have a clear path back to the big leagues with the Royals, although it’s possible that could change in the coming months. The Royals are currently 18-37, which is the worst record in all of baseball. Although they are still over six weeks from the close, it will take them an incredible turnaround during this time to avoid the fate of becoming a deadline seller. The club’s primary outfield consists of Whit Merrifield, Michael A Taylor and Andreas Benintendi, neither of which have extensive club control windows. Merrifield will be controlled until 2023 with a reciprocal option for 2024, although he is unlikely to be transferred. He’s been the subject of trade rumors for years, but the organization continues to hold onto him. Given the worst season of his career, it’s doubtful that the club would suddenly change course and sell while his valuation is at a low level. However, Benintendi is heading towards a free hand by the end of the season while Taylor will be controlled until 2023. When the royals end up pulling the trigger on a trade, they have Quinn on hand as an option to spend some time on the pitch for the post-deadline portion of the season.

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