The Royals designated Philip Humber for assignment to make room for Jeff Francoeur on the 40-man roster, according to the team. Japanese clubs expressed interest in the right-hander earlier this offseason, before former Royal Bryan Bullington joined the Hiroshima Carp.
Humber, 28 next week, posted a 4.15 ERA in 21 2/3 big league innings this year. As short as that stint was, it was the most Humber's pitched in a big league season. The former first rounder was once considered a top prospect and the Mets sent him to Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal. In 664 1/3 minor league innings, he has a 4.48 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9.