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Royals sign Brett Tomko to minor league deal

The veteran right-hander will likely head to AAA Omaha to begin the season.

Ronald Martinez

The Kansas City Royals have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-hander Brett Tomko, according to a baseball source. The deal, which was first reported by John Walk of the York Dispatch, does not include a major league spring training invite and will pay Tomko $510K if he makes the major league roster.

Tomko, who turns 41 next month, impressed scouts during winter ball in the Dominican Republic and launched a comeback campaign that we first reported in December. He threw for the Padres and Orioles in recent weeks before scheduling a bullpen with the Royals today and quickly getting a deal done after impressing during his workout. According to sources, Tomko consistently hit 91-93 mph during his session today and diplayed good command of his fastball, changeup and curveball.

Tomko will likely head to Triple-A Omaha to begin the season, and is willing to take on a mentor role for the young pitchers on the team's staff. Kansas City previously signed veterans Brad Penny and Guillermo Mota to minor league deals, but Mota's retirement and Penny's release sidelined the team's plans to use their veteran presence at Triple-A.

Tomko last appeared in the majors with the Rangers in 2011, pitching to a 0-1 record and 4.58 ERA in 8 relief appearances. He is a veteran of fourteen major league seasons with ten different teams, including the Royals, whom he pitched for in 2008. In 397 appearances (266 starts) since breaking into the bigs in 1997, Tomko is the owner of a lifetime 100-103 record and 4.65 ERA in 1,816 innings.