11:20am: Moylan to the Braves might not be a foregone conclusion. The Royals remain interested in re-signing him, per Bowman (Twitter link).
8:37am: The Braves are attempting to complete a deal with free agent reliever Peter Moylan, Mark Bowman of MLB.com tweets. It’s unclear whether it’ll be a major league pact for the 39-year-old Moylan, who already has two stints with the Braves under his belt (2006-12 and 2015).
The right-handed Moylan spent the previous two seasons in Kansas City and combined for a 3.46 ERA with 6.92 K/9 and 3.55 BB/9 across 104 innings, including 59 1/3 (his most since 2010) in 2017, when he led all pitchers in appearances (79). The sinker- and slider-throwing Moylan notched a superb 61.3 percent groundball rate to rank eighth among qualified relievers during that two-year span.
Moylan’s success with the Royals was particularly surprising after he combined to throw fewer than 40 big league innings with the Braves and Dodgers from 2011-15, owing to a laundry list of injuries. The Australia native dealt with back, shoulder and elbow problems at various points during that stretch, and he missed all of 2014 after undergoing the second Tommy John surgery of his career. Moylan then rejoined the Braves prior to the 2015 campaign on an unconventional deal, one in which they picked him up as a player/coach.
If he’s able to catch on with the Braves for a third time, Moylan will become the elder statesman of a bullpen that hasn’t added any other proven commodities since finishing last season 26th in ERA (4.58) and 27th in fWAR (1.1). Braves relievers especially struggled versus right-handed hitters, who slashed .264/.339/.450 against them. Moylan, meanwhile, limited righties to a meager .161/.244/.236 mark and has held them in check throughout his career (.204/.269/.295). Although lefty-swingers have roughed up Moylan (.296/.422/.430), he has nonetheless managed a 3.00 ERA during his 390 1/3-inning career.