Brian Bannister is officially a free agent, according to the Royals. Kansas City reinstated Jason Kendall and David DeJesus from the 60-day DL and made room by outrighting Bannister to Triple-A and designating right-hander Brian Anderson for assignment. Bannister refused his assignment and became a free agent.
Bannister, 29, pitched to a 6.34 ERA in 127 2/3 innings last year. His walk rate rose to 3.5 BB/9 and his strikeout rate dropped to 5.4 K/9, so it's not surprising that the Royals let him go. If they had offered arbitration, Bannister would have made something like $2.3MM, his 2010 salary. When Mike Axisa identified Bannister as a non-tender candidate last month, 71% of MLBTR readers correctly predicted that the Royals would cut him loose.
Anderson, a longtime outfielder in the major leagues, started making the transition to the mound this year. He logged 17 1/3 innings across three levels in the Royals system, striking out 17 and walking 5.