By Jayson Henderson

The Kansas City Royals finalized a trade with the Seattle Mariners, acquiring Natanael Garabitos to complete the transaction that sent Samad Taylor to Seattle in January. Garabitos, a 23-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic, joins the Royals after posting a 4.02 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 31 walks in 40 1/3 innings across 39 games with Seattle’s Single-A affiliate last year.

In injury news, outfielder Dairon Blanco is on track for the upcoming season despite a “very mild” calf strain sustained during a Cactus League game. Blanco took a brief break from game action but continued hitting and throwing. He is expected to be ready for Opening Day, crucial for his role as a speedy pinch-runner and defensive replacement.

Additionally, the Royals made roster moves by optioning outfielder Tyler Gentry and right-handed pitcher John McMillon to Triple-A Omaha. Gentry, the Royals’ No. 10 prospect, showed promise during spring training but faced obstacles due to outfield depth. McMillon, the Royals’ No. 18 prospect, requires more time to refine his mechanics after recovering from a forearm strain last August.

On the injury front, right-handed pitcher Carlos Hernández, recovering from a right shoulder impingement, has initiated a throwing program. While unlikely to be available for Opening Day, Hernández’s recovery progress indicates a positive trajectory.

Furthermore, left-handed pitcher Kris Bubic remains on the 60-day Injured List following left elbow surgery. Bubic targets a return in the middle of 2024 after a smooth recovery. Meanwhile, right-handed pitcher Kyle Wright, recovering from right shoulder surgery, remains on the 60-day Injured List. Wright’s rehabilitation focuses on regaining range of motion, with expectations for a return in 2025.

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