The Royals announced they will not offer major-league contracts to four players, including former Kansas City high school standouts Jason Adam and Bubba Starling, ahead of Friday’s 7 p.m. non-tender deadline.
Also non-tendered were first baseman Samir Duenez and pitcher Andres Machado.
Those players now become free agents, and they can be signed back by the Royals to minor-league contracts.
Adam, 27, a right-handed pitcher, made his major-league debut in 2018, finishing 0-3 with a 6.12 ERA in 31 appearances. The former fifth-round draft pick by Kansas City in 2010 from Blue Valley Northwest High returned to the Royals in 2017 after spending time in the Twins and Padres organizations.
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Starling, 26, was limited to 20 games last season between Class AAA Omaha and rehabilitation stints in Idaho Falls and Surprise. He hit .296 with four homers and 11 RBI. He was the Royals’ first-round pick from Gardner Edgerton High, fifth overall, in 2011.
Duenez, 22, spent most of last season at Class AA Northwest Arkansas, where he hit .282 with 10 home runs and 60 RBIs in 80 games. He originally signed with the Royals as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
Machado, signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, went 2-7 with a 5.53 ERA in 83 innings between Omaha and Northwest Arkansas in 2018.
The Royals have 36 players on their 40-man major-league roster following the moves.