Bullpen was the focus on Royals moves on Friday.
The American League champions signed Jason Frasor to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2016.
Also, Aaron Crow, the team’s All-Star representative in 2011, his rookie season, was traded to the Marlins for two minor-league pitchers.
Crow, 28, was the 12th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Missouri, posted a 20-11 record and 3.43 ERA with six saves in 254 games, all out of the bullpen and mostly as a setup man, over four years in Kansas City. He is a Topeka native who attended Washburn Rural High.
He went 6-1 with a 4.12 ERA and three saves in 67 relief appearances this year, but did not pitch in the postseason, a point of contention for him.
“I think a change of scenery will be good for me,” Crow said. “I think switching from the AL to the NL might help too, because you’re facing guys you haven’t really seen. I’m excited. I grew up in Kansas and grew up a Royals fan, so it’s kind of bittersweet.
“But I think it will be a good opportunity for me. I don’t know much about the Marlins, but what I’ve seen on the highlights and stuff. I think it will be fun getting to know my new teammates. I know they were good last year. Hopefully, that trend continues, and I can help the team a little bit.”
Crow allowed 10 home runs and struck out 34 over 59 innings this year. In his first two years, Crow struck out 130 in 126 2/3 innings.
“I was throwing more sinkers and trying to get quick outs, as opposed to trying to blow guys away,” Crow said.
His toughest game came on Sept. 14, when he was close to getting out of the sixth inning before surrendering a grand slam to the Red Sox’ Daniel Nava.
“Our reports have been solid,” said Michael Hill, the Marlins director of baseball operations. “He’s an effective major league pitcher. If he was the dominating pitcher he was the previous years we probably would not have had the ability to access him. Given the depth of Kansas City’s bullpen and the emergence of those three guys at the back end, that made him available.”
Frasor’s contract is worth a guaranteed $1.8 million, according to The Associated Press. Frasor will receive $1.25 million next season with a $2 million option and $550,000 buyout for 2016. Frasor made $1.75 million in 2014.
He also can earn $500,000 annually in bonuses based on games pitched: $75,000 each for hitting 35, 40, 45 and 50 games, and $100,000 each for getting to 55 and 60 games.
Frasor, 37, pitched in 647 games before making the playoffs for the first time last season with the Royals, and he made the most of his opportunity.
Frasor made seven postseason appearances and collected the victory in the AL Wild Card Game against Oakland and in the third game of the American League Championship Series sweep of the Orioles. He posted a 1.69 ERA in 5 1/3 playoff innings.
Frasor, who joined the Royals on July 16 from Texas in a trade for minor-league pitcher Spencer Patton, compiled a 1.53 ERA in 23 regular-season games with 16 strikeouts and four walks.
For Crow, the Royals acquired left-handed starter Brian Flynn and right-handed reliever Reid Redman from Florida.
Flynn, 24, made two appearances with one start for the Marlins this season. He spent the majority of the year in Class AAA New Orleans, where he went 8-10 with a 4.06 ERA. He was chosen a Pacific Coast League postseason All-Star in 2013 after posting a 2.80 ERA.
Flynn, a Tulsa, Okla., native who pitched for Wichita State, is 0-3 with an 8.64 ERA over six major-league appearances, including five starts.
Redman, 26, split last season between Class A Jupiter, Fla., and Class AA Jacksonville, and posted a combined 5-1 record with a 2.04 ERA, allowing 12 walks while striking out 68 in 44 appearances.
Redman was originally drafted by the Rays in 2012 as an infielder but was converted to a relief pitcher after signing with the Marlins in 2013. He has posted a 2.00 ERA in 63 career minor league appearances, going 7-3 with eight saves and 93 strikeouts in 90 innings.