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MLB notes: Royals trade Homer Bailey to Athletics

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals
Homer Bailey was 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA and 37 strikeouts over his past eight starts with the Royals.
(Reed Hoffmann / Getty Images)

The Kansas City Royals traded Homer Bailey to the Oakland Athletics for minor league infielder Kevin Merrell on Sunday after scratching the veteran right-hander about 45 minutes before his scheduled start of their series finale against Detroit.

The 33-year-old Bailey has rebounded this season with the Royals after signing a minor league deal in February. He is 7-6 with a 4.80 ERA, but he’s been especially good over his past seven starts, giving the A’s some additional help as they seek a playoff run in the second half.

The A’s began the day six back in the AL West and just ahead of Cleveland for a wild-card spot.

“Homer did a tremendous job of fitting in and doing what he needed to do to become a more consistent pitcher again,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “This is a good baseball deal for everybody.”

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The rebuilding Royals signed Bailey with the intention of flipping him ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, and he is almost certainly the start of several transactions. First baseman Lucas Duda, right fielder Jorge Soler and closer Ian Kennedy are among the veterans on the block.

Bailey, who is making just $550,000 this season, dealt with a rash of injuries from 2015-17 and was just 1-14 with a 6.09 ERA a year ago to wrap up his tenure with the Cincinnati Reds.

The former first-round pick was traded to the Dodgers as part of a seven-player deal that included Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in December, which means Los Angeles was paying the majority of the $23 million that remained on the $105 million, six-year contract he signed with the Reds in 2014.

Bailey struggled through the first six weeks of the season, but he’s 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA and 37 strikeouts over his past eight starts. He also has shown that the health issues that plagued him for a long stretch in Cincinnati are firmly behind him — he was due to make his 19th start on Sunday.

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Gibson has pancreatic cancer

St. Louis Cardinals great Bob Gibson is fighting pancreatic cancer. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the 83-year-old Hall of Famer was diagnosed with the cancer several weeks ago and revealed the news to the other living Hall of Famers.

Gibson’s longtime agent, Dick Zitzmann, told the Post-Dispatch that Gibson has visited The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and has been hospitalized in his hometown of Omaha, Neb., for the last two weeks. Zitzmann said chemotherapy is likely to begin Monday in Omaha.

Gibson was 251-174 with a 2.91 ERA in 17 seasons with the Cardinals from 1959 to 1975. The right-hander led St. Louis to World Series titles in 1964 and 1967, and the National League pennant in 1968. He was 7-2 in nine World Series starts.


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