Royals

Royals sign veterans Duensing, Ohlendorf and Barmes to minor-league deals

Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Brian Duensing (left) waited to be relieved in the 10th inning after hitting the Royals’ Alex Gordon with a pitch during a game on Sept. 9 at Kauffman Stadium.
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Brian Duensing (left) waited to be relieved in the 10th inning after hitting the Royals’ Alex Gordon with a pitch during a game on Sept. 9 at Kauffman Stadium. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

The Royals stocked their spring-training war chest with more veteran bodies on Thursday, announcing the signings of left-hander Brian Duensing, right-hander Ross Ohlendorf and infielder Clint Barmes. All three players agreed to minor-league deals and received invites to big-league camp.

Duensing, who will turn 33 on Monday, should be a familiar name for Royals fans. He spent the last seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins, compiling a 4.13 ERA while spending time as both a starter and reliever. Last year, he posted a 4.25 ERA in 48  2/3 innings as a left-handed arm out of the bullpen.

Duensing was also college teammates and roommates with Alex Gordon at Nebraska, and the two have remained close. Each was a groomsmen in the other’s wedding. Duensing graduated from high school in Omaha, Neb., after being born in Marysville, Kan.

Ohlendorf, 33, is a veteran right-hander who spent the 2015 season with Texas after stops with the Yankees, Pirates, Padres and Nationals. Ohlendorf posted a 3.72 ERA in 19  1/3 innings as a reliever in 2015 after missing the entire 2014 season with injuries.

A former pitcher at Princeton, Ohlendorf is close with Royals right-hander Chris Young, who also attended the Ivy League school.

Duensing and Ohlendorf will both compete for positions in the bullpen. The Royals could desire another left-hander to occupy a spot while Tim Collins finishes his rehab from Tommy John surgery. The team may also have bullpen roles available behind regulars Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria and Luke Hochevar.

Barmes, 36, comes to Kansas City after hitting .232 with a .282 on-base percentage in 98 games for San Diego last season. A veteran middle infielder who has played both shortstop and second base, Barmes began his career with Colorado in 2003 and spent eight seasons as a sturdy defender for the Rockies.

With the additions of Duensing, Ohlendorf and Barmes, the Royals now have 62 players on the spring-training roster.

Rustin Dodd: 816-234-4937, @rustindodd

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