Royals recording Ryan Yarbrough

Members of the royal family declared that they signed the left hand Ryan Yarbrough for a one-year contract. It is said to be a $3 million guarantee with $1 million in incentives available to an Excel Sports Management client. In a 40-man roster action, KC was allocated as reliever White Mills to commission.

Initially drafted by the Mariners, Yarbrough was dealt to the Rays as a prospect. He made his debut with Tampa Bay in 2018 and has spent the past half decade there, achieving a fair amount of success in his first few seasons. Yarbrough broke into the major leagues with a 3.81 ERA across 147 1/3 innings pitched, finishing fifth in AL Rookie of the Year balloting. He technically only started six of 38 games, but proved to be a versatile piece of the pitching staff for manager Kevin Cash and pitching coach Kyle Snyder. Yarbrough has frequently been called upon to absorb roles behind the slot, a role he also filled frequently in 2019.

The Old Dominion product pitched a 4.13 ERA on 141 2/3 frames during his sophomore season, starting in half of his 28 appearances. He posted a 3.56 ERA in 55 2/3 innings pitched during the shortened 2020 campaign. Heading into 2021, Yarbrough has thrown 344 2/3 career innings while allowing fewer than four earned runs per nine innings pitched. Even without a powerhouse arsenal, he has consistently taken on one of the heavy workloads on the Tampa Bay staff thanks to his excellent control and willingness to work in various roles.

Things have gone downhill over the past two seasons. Yarbrough led the team in innings pitched in 2021, throwing 155 catches. His production fell, though he allowed a career-worst 5.11 ERA. His hit and walk numbers weren’t much different from his results in previous seasons, but he became more prone to home runs. The Rays offered him a contract in hopes of returning to the heights, and while his numbers have improved this year, they were still worse than his marks early in his career.

Yarbrough worked 80 innings, his lowest workload in a 162-game season since his debut. He put up a 4.50 ERA, allowing 1.35 homers per nine innings pitched. The former fourth-round draftee continued to show strong control, facing just 6.2% of batters. His strikeout rate of 17.2% was a career-low but not drastically lower than his previous marks, because he was never one to miss that many at bats.

Without a force arsenal, Yarbrough succeeded in bluffing and being able to avoid difficult contact. He hasn’t been as effective at avoiding barrels in recent seasons as he has been in his first three years, perhaps thanks to a drop in speed. Yarbrough never even reached 90 MPH on his fastball, but he was in the 87-89 MPH range early in his career. Over the past two seasons, his fastball has averaged less than 87 mph. The cutter, which it uses as its primary tune, has dropped to the low 80s after previously sitting at 86.9 mph in 2018.

The Rays moved from Yarbrough in lieu of the $4.2 million MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz’ expected umpiring salary. He will move to spacious Kauffman Stadium in hopes of regaining the long ball in 2023. Yarbourgh reunites with first-year captain Matt Quatraro, who spent the last four seasons on Tampa Bay as a bench coach. With between four and five years of MLB service, he will be eligible for arbitration again out of next season. If Yarbrough sells the rights to the vessel, the Royal Family can keep him until the end of 2024 despite only having a one-year warranty.

It’s a modest price point for KC, whose projected payroll is now about $78 million, per list supplier. The Royals opened last season at about $95 million in player spending. However, GM JJ Picollo suggested earlier that this team wasn’t operating with much spending capacity. An affordable roll of the dice on Yarbrough makes a lot of sense, especially given the new captain’s links to the south end.

The Royals can deliver Yarbrough with either a spin or long relief. Brady singer It has one turnover spot sewn in, but the rest of the staff appears to be open. Daniel Lynch He will likely return to the top five after starting 27 games in 2022, with Yarbrough joining Chris BobickAnd the Brad KeelerAnd the Carlos HernandezAnd the Max CastilloAnd the Jonathan Pollan And the Angel Zerba Among those who can flock to the beginnings. Adding another starter this winter seems likely, and the Royals could certainly look forward to returning Zack Grenk on another one-year free agent deal.

Mills joined the Royal Family last summer in the Trade with Seamen which offloaded some of the money owed to her Carlos Santana. He appeared in 19 MLB games for Kansas City, working to a 4.79 ERA across 20 2/3 innings pitched. Right posted strikeout and walk numbers that were slightly worse than average (21.3% and 10.6%, respectively) over this stretch. He has struck out 39.7% of batters faced in 13 outings with Triple-A Omaha, but he has also walked over 17% of opponents in that appearance.

Kansas City will now have a week to trade the 27-year-old (28 next month) or place him on waivers. Mills has a minor league option remaining, so a team that acquires him will be able to transfer him between MLB and Triple-A next season.

ESPN’s Kelly McDaniel First reported that the deal contains a $3 million guarantee and up to $1 million in performance bonuses.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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