JULY 13: The Royals have released Frasor, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Miller says that Frasor went unclaimed on release waivers.
The move will likely come as a surprise to many Royals fans — and fans in general — as the veteran setup man has worked to a stellar 1.54 ERA in 23 1/3 innings this season. However, Frasor’s also battled his control all season long, posting an 18-to-15 K/BB ratio in that time. That sub-par accuracy has led secondary stats like FIP (4.03), xFIP (4.60) and SIERA (4.71) to take a significantly more pessimistic stance on Frasor’s work to this point. Of course, it should also be noted that a pair of the walks yielded by Frasor in 2015 have been of the intentional variety.
The Royals acquired Frasor last summer in exchange for minor league right-hander Spencer Patton, and Frasor rewarded the team with a 1.53 ERA and a 16-to-1 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings down the stretch in their push to the postseason. Frasor allowed just one run in 5 1/3 playoff innings and was re-signed by the Royals on a one-year, $1.8MM contract that includes a $1.25MM salary and a $550K buyout of a $2MM mutual option for the 2016 season.
Frasor chose the Royals over a few other interested clubs, with the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino reporting back in December that the Twins were one team to make an offer. Agent Dave Meier told Berardino that the Twins were one of the final teams under consideration by Frasor. Given Minnesota’s own bullpen struggles and Frasor’s modest salary — he’s owed about $621K plus the $550K buyout — it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Twins among the teams to show interest. Kansas City will have 10 days to trade, release or attempt to outright Frasor, although even if he’s outrighted, he can refuse the minor league assignment in favor of free agency and retain his salary.