The Royals have agreed to contract terms with lefty Tim Collins to avoid arbitration, the club announced. Collins will earn $1.475MM for the 2016 season, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports on Twitter.
Truth be told, it’s now been some time since Collins has been at his best. He also dealt with forearm and elbow issues in 2014, throwing only 21 big league frames while watching his strikeout rate plummet to a personal low of 6.4 batters per nine. (Collins did get about twice as much work in Triple-A that season, putting up much better numbers there.)
Obviously, though, the Royals believe in his arm. While he’s small in stature, Collins still delivers his average fastball in the 92 to 93 mph range. And between 2012 and 2013, he logged 123 innings of 3.44 ERA ball with 10.6 K/9 against 4.5 BB/9. Most importantly, perhaps, Collins has actually been slightly better against right-handed batters.
With age still on his side, there’s still plenty of potential value there for the defending World Series champs, who haven’t shied from taking injury risks on relievers in recent years. It’s not entirely clear when Collins will be ready for full action, but Kansas City will probably be looking for other southpaw pen additions regardless of when that’s expected. The club’s only two southpaws to top twenty innings out of the pen last year — Franklin Morales and Brandon Finnegan — have been lost to free agency (at least for the time being) and trade, respectively.