The Royals rolled the dice they could remove reliever Louis Coleman from their 40-man roster and still keep him in the organization. The gamble came through when the club secured outright waivers on Coleman and assigned him to Class AAA Omaha.
This means each of the 29 other clubs declined to add Coleman to their opening day rosters. It also levels the competition for the final two spots in the Royals bullpen to two men: Rookie southpaw Brian Flynn and veteran right-hander Ryan Madson.
The organization’s preference appears to align with Flynn, who they acquired in a trade for former All-Star reliever Aaron Crow from Miami. But other considerations could come into play.
Madson, the former Phillies closer, has an agreement with the Royals that if another team offers him a major-league contract, he can opt out of his minor-league deal. Madson is willing to pitch for Omaha, but his preference is the major leagues.
The Royals are reticent to use him in their bullpen given his injury history. Madson has not pitched in the big leagues since undergoing Tommy John surgery before the 2012 season. The Royals could add him to the 40-man roster and place him on the disabled list, but Madson insists he feels healthy and capable of contributing to the club.
With Coleman clearing waivers, the Royals trimmed their 40-man roster down to 38 players. There are 34 players left in camp. Manager Ned Yost has indicated the team will not announce their opening day roster until shortly before Sunday afternoon’s deadline.