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Royals Announce Flurry of Tuesday Roster Moves

Kansas City adds and subtracts multiple players while also avoiding arbitration with another.

Ahead of the Tuesday deadline to place players on their 40-man roster in order to protect them from the upcoming 2022 MLB Rule 5 Draft, the Kansas City Royals have selected the contracts of three different players. In order to make room for the trio of pitcher Alec Marsh, catcher Freddy Fermin and outfielder Diego Hernandez, Kansas City is designating pitchers Jake Brentz and Nate Webb for assignment, as well as outfielder Brent Rooker.

We have selected the contracts of RHP Alec Marsh, C Freddy Fermin, and OF Diego Hernández.

LHP Jake Brentz, RHP Nate Webb, and OF Brent Rooker have been designated for assignment.

Ryan O'Hearn has agreed to a Major League contract for 2023, avoiding arbitration.

- Kansas City Royals (@Royals) on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. CST

Marsh, 24, started 27 games between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha within the Royals' minor league ranks this past season. I wrote on Tuesday morning that he was a likely candidate to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft, saying the following: 

Marsh averaged 11.57 K/9 with the Naturals and allowed just two runs across a pair of Triple-A starts to round out the year, so there is plenty of reason for Kansas City to keep him around. If health and some positive regression are in store for 2022, Marsh could make a leap up the club's prospect leaderboards. This may be his last shot, though. 

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Marsh joins Fermin and Hernandez as those who are being protected, and Hernandez was certainly viewed as the more likely candidate to earn that honor heading into Tuesday. The speedy outfielder is a clear plus defender and also showed enough flashes at the plate to make him an eventual worthy selection, although Fermin did post a 123 wRC+ in 87 games with the Storm Chasers this year in his own right. Now on the 40-man roster, Kansas City now doesn't have to worry about risking losing either of them.

Brentz struggled to the tune of a 23.63 ERA in just 5.1 innings of work this year but is slated to miss an extended period of time with an elbow injury. Webb had a 9.57 ERA in 26.1 innings at Double-A and gave up six runs in 2.1 Triple-A innings in 2022, but recorded a 13.50 K/9 in 4.2 innings of complex play. Rooker, acquired during the season, hit nine home runs in just 20 games in Omaha but posted a 15 wRC+ in 36 plate appearances with the Royals.

According to the team's announcement, first baseman/outfielder Ryan O'Hearn has agreed to a major league contract with the Royals for 2023. This avoids arbitration for both sides and, per Anne Rogers of MLB.com, nets O'Hearn a $1.4 million deal with $250,000 in performance bonuses. O'Hearn was listed as the top non-tender candidate on my October list of possible avenues for Kansas City to take and while this doesn't entirely guarantee that the veteran will be around for all of 2023 or even Opening Day, those odds are now increased. 

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