The Royals and right-hander Brett Tomko have agreed to a minor league contract, according to a tweet from Tomko's brother, Scott. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that Tomko will earn $510K if he makes the big league club. Tomko is represented by Full Circle Sports Management. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets that Tomko, who was clocked as high as 93 mph in a bullpen session today, is willing to pitch at Triple-A and did not receive any opt-out clauses in his deal.
Tomko hasn't pitched in the Majors since a brief 17 2/3 inning stint with the Rangers in 2011. The former second-round pick has accumulated 1816 innings at the Major League level, pitching to a 4.65 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 42.1 percent ground-ball rate.
MLBTR's own Zach Links talked with the 40-year-old Tomko earlier in the offseason about his comeback bid. Said Tomko at the time: "I'll keep lacing it up until someone rips the uniform off of my back and says 'You're done.'"
The Royals' rotation is crowded with James Shields, Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Vargas and Bruce Chen as locks with Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy and Wade Davis as candidates for the fifth slot. The bullpen took a blow recently when Luke Hochevar learned that he needs Tommy John surgery, but Kansas City still has plenty of options with Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, Tim Collins, Kelvin Herrera, Louis Coleman, Donnie Joseph and Chris Dwyer all representing options for manager Ned Yost. Whichever two of Ventura, Duffy and Davis do not make the rotation could be slotted into the bullpen as well.