(TNS) — A day after they were closing in on an agreement with one free-agent starting pitcher, the Royals formally announced the signing of another Thursday.
Former Braves right-hander Kris Medlen, who missed the 2014 season while recovering from elbow-ligament replacement surgery, joined the Royals on a two-year contract, with a mutual option for 2017.
“We obviously believe in Kris’ makeup a great deal,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a news conference announcing the signing. “When you watch him compete on the mound, you realize that right away.”
But Moore said Medlen, who is still rehabilitating his injury, was likely to be a “second-half guy.”
The contract is worth $8.5 million in guaranteed money and includes incentives based on games started and innings pitched. Medlen will make $2 million in 2015, plus $4 million more in possible incentives, and $5.5 million in 2016, with $6 million more in possible incentives. The option is worth $10 million or a $1 million buyout.
The Royals designated infielder Johnny Giavotella for assignment to add Medlen to the 40-man roster.
Medlen, 29, was 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA in 197 innings in 2013, a year after he posted a 1.57 ERA in 50 appearances, mostly in relief. He was injured in spring training this season and had surgery in March.
That was the second time Medlen underwent elbow-ligament replacement, or Tommy John, surgery. He also missed almost all of the 2011 season because of surgery.
“I feel like I have a lot of baseball left to play,” Medlen said, adding that he was sold on the Royals in part because of their training staff.
Medlen was a 10th-round pick by the Braves in 2006 out of Santa Ana College and made his major-league debut in 2009.
On Wednesday, reports by CBSSports.com and others said former Pirates right-hander Edinson Volquez had agreed to terms with the Royals. on a two-year, $20 million contract. The Royals were also close to signing right fielder Alex Rios to a one-year, $11 million contract, pending a physical. They have yet to announce either signing.
Once the Volquez and Rios signings become official, the Royals’ projected opening-day payroll figures to stand at around $110 million.