6:03pm: Moylan is slated to earn a $575K salary with a $625K roster bonus if and when he is placed on the 25-man roster, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). It is not known how much, if any, money is guaranteed, but clearly Moylan will have to earn a bullpen job in camp.
7:28am: The Braves are in agreement on a contract with veteran right-handed reliever Peter Moylan, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Moylan, a client of Paragon Sports, is in Orlando to take a physical for the deal today, Crasnick adds. It was reported yesterday that the Braves and Royals were both in the mix to sign the 39-year-old veteran.
Moylan will head back to the Braves for what will be his third stint with the team. He made his Major League debut for Atlanta as a 27-year-old back in 2006 and went on to serve as a key member of their bullpen up through the 2012 season, appearing in 295 games with a 2.59 ERA out of the bullpen. He’d land back in Atlanta for the 2015 season after undergoing the second Tommy John surgery of his career, pitching 10 1/3 solid innings late in the year.
The Royals picked Moylan up in 2016, and he’s spent the past two seasons with Kansas City, where he’s pitched quite well out of the ’pen. Moylan paced the Majors with 79 total appearances last season, appearing in nearly half of his team’s games on the year. He logged a 3.46 ERA in 104 innings with the Royals in total over those two seasons, averaging 6.9 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9 and logging a hefty 61.3 percent ground-ball rate.
Moylan has had his struggles with left-handed opponents in that time, serving up a .318/.444/.535 slash to 108 batters when they hold the platoon advantage. Right-handed hitters, though, probably wonder if it’s even worth stepping into the box against the side-arming Moylan, who has held same-handed opponents to a comical .181/.252/.253 slash through 326 PAs in that same span. Suffice it so say, he can be relied on by the Braves something of a right-handed specialist, though he probably won’t be called upon to face elite lefties on too many occasions.
The Braves figure to add Moylan to a late-inning mix that currently features Arodys Vizcaino as the closer and hard-throwing Jose Ramirez as the top setup option. Sam Freeman and A.J. Minter are on hand as left-handed options, and other candidates to fill right-handed spots in the relief corps include Josh Ravin, Dan Winkler, Chase Whitley, Mauricio Cabrera, Akeel Morris, Jason Hursh, Aaron Blair, Matt Wisler and Rule 5 pick Anyelo Gomez. It’s a rather deep mix from which to choose, though the group does have an overall lack of experience, so it’s not hard to see why the Braves sought a complementary veteran such as Moylan.
If it proves to be a guaranteed Major League pact for Moylan, he’ll be the first free agent to sign such a deal with the Braves this offseason under new general manager Alex Anthopoulos. He’d represent a viable upgrade to a bullpen that finished 26th in the Majors with a 4.58 ERA and allowed a .264/.339/.450 slash against righties in 2017 (as pointed out yesterday by MLBTR’s Connor Byrne).