The Royals have agreed to a minor-league deal with free-agent righty Ricky Nolasco, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick and FanRag’s Jon Heyman. The deal would be worth $1.5 million if Nolasco makes the majors and includes $250k in incentives and a March 24 out clause.
Kansas City has been active on the free-agent market in recent weeks, re-signing Alcides Escobar and adding veterans Lucas Duda and Jon Jay to serve as replacements for departed veterans Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain. Duda and Jay are likely to start for K.C., while Nolasco will join a rotation mix that already includes Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis and Nathan Karns.
Nolasco, now 35, made 33 starts for the Angels in 2017, owning a 4.92 ERA and 5.10 FIP in his twelfth big-league season. He lasted 2.5 years with the Twins after signing a four-year deal with the club after the 2013 season, being traded to the Halos at the 2016 trade deadline.
Nolasco owns a career 4.56 ERA in 12 years with the Marlins, Dodgers, Twins and Angels and could start the year at Triple-A or in the Royals’ major-league bullpen if he doesn’t win a rotation spot this spring. He’s just one of a large group of veterans settling for minor-league deals this spring as a result of one of the most stagnant free-agent markets in recent memory.