2:54pm: MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets that outfielder Daniel Nava has also cleared waivers and elected free agency. The 33-year-old Nava joined Kansas City on a midseason minor league deal and came up with the team late in the season but only saw 12 plate appearances there. The 2016 campaign was one to forget for Nava, as he posted just a .223/.297/.292 batting line in 148 trips to the plate between the Angels and Royals.
1:25pm: Right-hander Dillon Gee has elected free agency after clearing outright waivers, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Gee spent the 2016 season with the Royals but finished the year on the shelf and underwent surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome following the season. Rosenthal notes that Gee is expected to be ready for Spring Training.
Gee, 31 next April, adds another name to a weak market of free-agent starters. The longtime Mets hurler inked a minor league deal with Kansas City last winter and broke camp with the team in Spring Training. Gee ultimately played a fairly significant role with K.C., racking up 125 innings between the bullpen and the rotation (14 starts) and working to a 4.68 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 41 percent ground-ball rate in his first taste of the American League. Those numbers were a bit better prior to a September slump, and it seems fair to assume that Gee’s performance was adversely impacted by his TOS symptoms.
While Gee lost his rotation spot during his final season with the Mets and spent much of that year in Triple-A, he was a regular on the Mets’ starting staff from 2011-14 when he pitched 606 2/3 innings of 4.01 ERA ball with 6.6 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected Gee to earn $3.6MM via arbitration, but he’ll now be able to negotiate with teams around the league. A one-year deal or a minor league pact seems the likeliest outcome for Gee on the heels of two seasons’ worth of mixed results and a notable surgery, but he could prove to be an affordable source of innings at the back of a rotation or in a swingman capacity next year.