The Pirates, having traded for left-handed, power-hitting corner outfielder Corey Dickerson, let Michael Saunders go from his agreement made with the team under different circumstances on Wednesday, and Saunders has signed a minor-league contract with the Kansas City Royals.
SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo added detail from Saunders’ agent:
Michael Saunders' agent, Barry Meister, confirms Pirates released Saunders to give him the opportunity to sign elsewhere once "the opportunity changed".— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 23, 2018
Meister: "As per the agreement with PIT, when the opportunity changed, the Pirates and specifically Neal Huntington were gracious enough to allow Michael to seek another opportunity. They should be commended for their player-friendly, honest and transparent behavior."— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 23, 2018
Saunders, of course, was redundant with Dickerson and, to a lesser extent, Daniel Nava, already in Pirates camp.
The Pirates aren’t the only team to operate in this manner, but they do seem to be one of the more player-friendly organizations in this regard, including the goofy Juan Nicasio situation of last season.