The Royals on Wednesday signed free-agent veteran starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco to a minor-league contract with a major-league spring training invite.
Save for some elbow issues and an ankle injury that limited him when he pitched for the Minnesota Twins from 2014-16, Nolasco has proved durable throughout his 12-year career. He has averaged 200 innings per year since his debut with the Florida Marlins in 2006. In the last six years, he’s averaged 161 innings per season.
Nolasco, 35, was the Los Angeles Angels’ opening day starter last year. He went 6-15 with a 4.92 ERA over 181 innings spanning 33 starts. The Angels declined the 2018 option on Nolasco's contract after the season.
The Angels acquired Nolasco from the Twins, who signed him to a four-year, $49 million contract with a club option for the 2018 season in November 2013. Nolasco had just come off a season where he posted a 3.70 ERA over 199 1/3 innings with the Marlins and Dodgers. But he struggled the following season in Minnesota, recording a 5.38 ERA in 27 starts.
Nolasco’s contract with the Royals is worth $1.5 million, plus $250,000 in incentives, if he makes the Royals' major-league roster. The contract has a March 24 out clause.
He is the 10th non-roster pitcher to receive an invite to Royals camp this spring. The Royals have had 32 pitchers in camp to this point.