Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie automatically became a free agent today – along with the 136 other eligible players throughout baseball.
The Royals hold exclusive negotiating rights with Guthrie until 11:01 p.m. on Friday, but general manager Dayton Moore told The Star over the weekend that he expects Guthrie to explore his options on the open market.
Guthrie, who made $8.2 million this season, went 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 14 starts for the Royals, who acquired him from Colorado in a July 20 trade for left-hander Jonathan Sanchez.
Guthrie, 33, has a career record of 55-77 with a 4.28 ERA.
The Royals also have to decide by Wednesday if they will exercise a $750,000 buyout of closer Joakim Soria’s contract to void their $8 million option for next season.
Soria missed the entire 2012 season after having Tommy John surgery to replace a torn elbow ligament on April 3. It was the second time in Soria’s career that he had the procedure.
Other free agents as of today include the Angels’ Zack Greinke, Milwaukee’s Shaun Marcum, Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy, Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez, St. Louis’ Kyle Lohse, Texas’ Josh Hamilton, Boston’s David Ortiz and the White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski.