Royals scout kicked out as unusual free-agent camp opens
As teams started spring training workouts across Florida and Arizona, the players’ association had a Kansas City Royals scout escorted out of the union’s opening training session for unsigned free agents.
About 15 players attended the first day of workouts Wednesday at the union’s camp in Bradenton, Florida. Media were barred from the IMG Academy. The scout was told he was not welcome but could set up a session with an individual player at the player’s discretion, several people familiar with the situation said. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
More than 90 players remain without agreements among the 166 who exercised their free-agency rights last November, the most sluggish market since the final off-season of collusion in 1987-88.
Union head Tony Clark, who attended the session, said approximately15 more players are likely to arrive at the free-agent camp this week while the remainder of unsigned players seeking jobs work out at their regular off-season facilities.
“When you have the type of numbers we’ve had of unsigned guys at this juncture, that’s cause for concern,” Clark said. “It’s cause for concern from our end and it’s cause for concern from an industry standpoint.”
Unsigned stars include pitcher Jake Arrieta and sluggers J.D. Martinez, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, all represented by agent Scott Boras.
“From my perspective, the last four or five days have been more like a true December free agency. We’ve gotten a lot of calls from a lot of teams, and we’re working through negotiations for players,” Boras said.
“The trade winds finally died down and the clubs have reached a point where the opportunities for trades have been limited. …read more