The Royals have agreed to terms with left-hander Wandy Rodriguez and right-hander Joba Chamberlain on minor league deals, the team announced (via Twitter). Robert Murray of Baseball Essential tweeted yesterday that Rodriguez was joining the Royals. Rodriguez is represented by WMG, while Chamberlain is represented by Excel Sports Management.
Rodriguez, 36, posted a 4.90 ERA over 86 1/3 innings with the Rangers this season before being released by the team a few weeks ago. ERA indicators (4.41 SIERA, 4.30 FIP, 4.35 xFIP) indicate that Rodriguez’s 4.90 ERA is perhaps a bit inflated by his .328 BABIP. The southpaw owned a 3.20 ERA through his first 11 starts with Texas before his performance dipped, lowlighted by a pair of particularly rough outings against the A’s and Yankees (15 ER in a combined five innings).
Though he’ll currently be slated as minor league depth, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Rodriguez promoted to Kansas City’s rotation. Rodriguez’s modest 1.0 fWAR for 2015 tops every Royals starter except for Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez, so the lefty could be an option if the Royals want a change from the inconsistent Yordano Ventura or the struggling Jeremy Guthrie. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams noted at the time of Rodriguez’s release, the Royals had a need for a veteran depth arm given their recent loss of Jason Vargas to Tommy John surgery.
Chamberlain posted a 4.09 ERA, 6.1 K/9 and a 3.00 K/BB rate over 22 bullpen innings for the Tigers this season before he was released in July. He signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays but opted out on Friday after a brief but rough stint at Triple-A Buffalo. Chamberlain may be little more than a pure depth signing for K.C. given how the Royals already boast perhaps the game’s best bullpen.