News is just breaking that pitcher Liam Hendriks and catcher Erik Kratz have both been traded to the Kansas City Royals. The trade was first reported by Shi Davidi and later followed up by Ken Rosenthal (so you know it's legit):
Sources: Erik Kratz, pulled from triple-A Buffalo lineup, also expected to be traded.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 28, 2014
Hendriks has started three games with the Blue Jays this year allowing nine earned runs over 13.1 innings. He had been pitching in Buffalo since being optioned back in June. The Aussie is in his final option year, although he still has over one year of service time.
Kratz on the other hand has played 34 games with Toronto this year hitting a dismal .198/.226/.346 with three home runs. He lost out on the backup catcher competition with Josh Thole mainly thanks to Thole's ability to successfully catch R.A. Dickey's knuckleball. The 34-year-old is also in his final option year and is being paid $510,200 this season.
Obviously there will be more to come, such as who these players are being traded for.
The Kansas City Royals have announced that the player coming back the other way is third baseman Danny Valencia. The 29-year-old right-handed hitting Valencia has appeared in 36 games this season with the Royals hitting .282/.328/.382.
#Royals acquire C Erik Kratz and RHP Liam Hendriks in a trade with Toronto for 3B Danny Valencia.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) July 28, 2014
The Florida native absolutely mashes lefty pitching (.333 average in his career), so he will fill the massive infield need against southpaw pitchers. Valencia is out of options meaning he will join the big league squad with either Steve Tolleson (no options), Ryan Goins or Munenori Kawasaki being sent back down to Buffalo to make room. Contrary to what Buck Martinez is currently blabbering about during the Sportsnet telecast, it will not be a reliever being sent down to the minor leagues as the bullpen currently has only seven pitchers in it.
Against right-handed pitching Juan Francisco can man the hot corner, while Valencia can start against lefties with Ryan Goins and potentially Steve Tolleson platooning at second base. Valencia has played at second base as well so there is additional flexibility when Brett Lawrie returns from the disabled list.
Both Hendriks and Kratz were on the Blue Jays 40-man roster meaning there will be an extra spot opened up. There is now two empty spots on the 40-man roster, which is just asking for Alex Anthopoulos to make some more waiver claims! Who wants to bet against the Blue Jays claiming Kenny Wilson once again?