The Royals have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Kameron Loe, pending a physical, reports MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo (Twitter links). The PSI Sports Management client will head to Triple-A Omaha, and his contract contains a June 15 opt-out clause, Cotillo adds.
The 32-year-old Loe appeared with the Mariners, Cubs and Braves in 2013, combining for a 7.09 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a solid 50.5 percent ground-ball rate. Loe's undoing was an alarming amount of home runs for his limited workload; he surrendered 11 homers in just 26 2/3 frames between the three clubs. His 34.4 percent homer-to-flyball ratio was a wild departure from his career mark of 11.5 percent heading into 2013, and it's so high that it is a virtual guarantee to be a fluke. ERA estimators such as xFIP and SIERA, which normalize HR/FB, felt that Loe's skill set was more indicative of a mid-4.00 ERA, which would align with his career mark of 4.49.
Kansas City took a hit to its bullpen depth in Spring Training when Luke Hochevar went down with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Loe will hope to pitch well enough at Omaha to work his way into a strong Kansas City relief corps or to attract another team in need of relief help this summer.