The KC Royals actually signed a player that I am excited about. And we complained that GM Dayton Moore was being too quiet during the winter meetings. Now the Royals have signed four players over the last week.
Earlier today, the Royals signed right-hander Kris Medlen to a two year deal with an option for 2017. He is only guaranteed $8.5 million over the three years ($2 million in 2015, $5.5 million in 2016, and there is a $1 million buyout). The option is for $10 million.
The deal is incentive-laden, which is great for an injured player. According to Ken Rosenthal’s sources, he will receive $4 million in incentives in 2015 and $6 million in his second year.
Sure, Medlen is coming off his second Tommy John surgery, but when healthy, he is one of the better pitchers in baseball. His first TJS came in 2010, which limited him to just two games in 2011.
As a full-time starter in 2013, Medlen was 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA in 197.0 innings. When Atlanta needed him the most in September, he was unbeatable, posting a 4-0 mark with a 1.00 ERA and a .197 opponents average in his last five starts.
In his Braves career (as both a starter and a reliever), he was 34-20 with a 2.95 ERA in 152 career appearances (61 starts). In 12 starts in 2012, Medlen was 9-0 with an 0.97 ERA.
Over his career, he has also put up good sabermetrics numbers: FIP (3.23), xFIP (3.39) and SIERA (3.68).
Medlen has always been a favorite of mine since I saw him coming up through the Braves minor league system, so I am a little biased. When he wasn’t pitching, he always had a smile on his face. He even joked in the press conference, “best case scenario, I don’t blow out again.”
Since I am from South Jersey, I loved watching him pitch against the Phillies.
He has never blown the ball by hitters, but has always shown great control. He also has a bulldog mentality, which fans will love. Medlen also likes to celebrate walk offs, with a water bottle to douse the deserving teammate. He also wears a flat-brimmed bill to his hat and has a ton of tattoos.
He will wear #39, as he was announced today in a press conference (and was actually there), which you can watch below:
I’m still trying to figure out how the Royals kept this deal so quiet.
Medlen probably won’t start in 2015, though he may towards the end of the season as he builds up innings. Moore said that they expect him to contribute after the All-Star Break. After his first TJS, he was dominant out of the bullpen for the Braves and he would complement the already stingy Royals bullpen.
*Please let him have a rehab assignment in Wilmington*
He should be 100% to take over Jeremy Guthrie’s spot in the rotation in 2016 (if not before).
I still do not know how the Braves just let him go.
*Check out the articles below for more on the Medlen signing:
Once a rising star, Medlen gets another chance at stardom with Royals FoxSports Kansas City
Royals sign Kris Medlen to two-year deal with eye on 2016, not 2015 CBS Sports
Kris Medlen signs two-year deal with Royals Kings of Kauffman
To make room for Medlen on the 40-man roster, they designated infielder Johnny Giavotella for assignment. I am not really sure he will clear waivers, so this is probably the end of the “Free Gio” line. If Gio does move on, it will be sad to see him go. He was out of options, so it was only a matter of time.
I don’t think he ever really got a chance to succeed in the Majors with the Royals, so hopefully he can latch on with a team that will give him a shot.
Oakland is looking for a second baseman.
*The Royals still have two more roster moves to make when the Alex Rios and Edinson Volquez deals become official.