Kansas City Royals Dip Into Free Agent Pool For Pitcher

The Kansas City Royals aren't going to be spending $200M or some such amount on a free agent, but they are dipping into the pool for some pitching help, signing former Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough. 

It's a one-year, $3M deal for the 31-year-old five-year veteran. He was released by the Rays last month, as he was projected to earn about $4M in arbitration, more than the cost-conscious Rays were interested in.

Yarbrough has bounced between starting and relieving for the Rays over his career, posting an overall 4.33 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP. He traditionally keeps walks to a minimum, handing out only 2.0 per nine innings. The Royals had a goal of finding a good swingman this offseason, and now they've got their man.

New Royals manager Matt Quatraro is familiar with him from their time together in Tampa Bay. Yarbrough offers the flexibility that the team was looking for—some depth for the rotation, and a nice bulk innings reliever, all in one.

“You like to go into the year with like eight guys you think can start,” Royals executive vice president and general manager J.J. Picollo said. 

Yarbrough has a career 4.75 ERA as a traditional starter, and a 3.82 ERA out of the bullpen. He will provide the Royals with some pitching depth that they were seeking. 

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