The Royals have added another arm to their spring bullpen puzzle, signing former Cardinals reliever Seth Maness to a minor-league contract Monday.
Maness, 28, posted a 3.19 career ERA in 244 appearances across four seasons in St. Louis, including a 3.41 ERA in 29 games last season. But in baseball circles, he is perhaps best known for undergoing an experimental procedure on his elbow after damaging his ulnar collateral ligament last summer — an injury that usually requires Tommy John surgery.
Maness underwent the new surgery last Aug. 18, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which first reported Maness’ signing with the Royals. Following the usual Tommy John recovery timeline, Maness would have likely missed the entire 2017 season. But after undergoing an operation called “primary repair,” Maness told the Post-Dispatch in January that he expected to be ready for opening day, just 7 1/2 months after surgery.
Maness will join a collection of reclamation projects and non-roster invitees competing for spots in the Royals bullpen, including right-hander Brandon League, right-hander Al Alburquerque, right-hander Bobby Parnell, right-hander Ryan Withrow and left-hander Jonathan Sanchez.