Right-handed pitcher Homer Bailey abruptly went from Royals scheduled starter to a member of the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.
The Royals scratched Bailey from the lineup roughly a half hour before his start against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium, and just before first pitch they announced he’d been traded to Oakland in exchange for minor-league infielder Kevin Merrell.
Oakland selected Merrell, a left-handed hitter out of South Florida, in the first competitive balance round of the 2017 MLB Draft (33rd overall). The 23-year-old was with Oakland’s Double-A affiliate, and he’ll report to the Royals’ Double-A affiliate Northwest Arkansas. He will not go onto the Royals’ 40-man roster.
Merrell, a shortstop, signed with Oakland for $1,800,000, according to Baseball America and is considered to have elite speed.
Left-handed reliever Brian Flynn started Sunday’s game in place of Bailey. Trading Bailey hardly comes as a surprise with the Royals in need of young players to restock their farm system and who they can have under club control for multiple years.