The Royals have agreed to a minor-league contract with reliever Peter Moylan, reuniting with a veteran right-hander who spent most of 2016 in the club’s bullpen.
Moylan, 38-year-old submarine-style pitcher, posted a 3.43 ERA in 44 2/3 innings across 50 appearances last season, sliding into a role as an effective righty specialist. A native of Australia, Moylan is expected to arrive in camp by Monday.
Moylan will join a crowded competition for one or two remaining bullpen slots. Three slots are expected to be filled by Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm, while two others could be filled by the two pitchers that lose out in the competition for the final rotation slot. That starting spot, barring injury, will come down to Nathan Karns, Chris Young or Travis Wood.
Left-hander Mike Minor could have the inside track to another bullpen spot if he remains healthy. That would leave one vacancy if the Royals elect to keep seven relievers on their opening day roster.
Moylan faced similar odds last season after signing with the Royals on a minor-league deal. After a slow start in camp, he began the year at Class AAA Omaha. But a strong opening month in Omaha earned him a promotion to the big-league club in May. During the next five months, he became a reliable and durable member of the bullpen. The performance included an impressive 15 appearances during the month of August.