Rarely, if ever, has the signing of a minor-league contract created this kind of mass confusion.
The Kansas City Royals announced the signing of outfielder Michael Saunders to a minor-league contract on Friday, in a move that immediately left just about everyone in the baseball world scratching their heads. The problem with Saunders signing in Kansas City, you see, was that he had signed a similar contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
And there was proof of this, too. Because not only had the Pirates officially announced the agreement with Saunders, but the team even posted an interview with the Canadian slugger on Thursday night.
Adding to the confusion was the fact Pittsburgh had not announced anything about his release.
Naturally, it was all one big misunderstanding. While the Pirates never actually said what happened, Saunders' agent Barry Meister confirmed to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation that his client was not, in fact, the property of two teams simultaneously and had been released by the Pirates following Thursday's acquisition of Corey Dickerson.
"As per the agreement with (Pittsburgh), when the opportunity changed, the Pirates and specifically (general manager) Neal Huntington were gracious enough to allow Michael to seek another opportunity," Meister said, per Cotillo. "They should be commended for their player-friendly, honest and transparent behavior."
So, Saunders - a 2016 All-Star who put up a .600 OPS in 73 games for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies last year - will now try to make it back to the majors wearing Royals blue instead of Pirates black and gold. Regardless of how it ended in Pittsburgh, though, his 48-hour Pirates career is already being rightfully remembered as a legendary era in baseball history.