April 5: Zimmer has cleared unconditional release waivers and is now a free agent, the Royals announced.
April 3: The Royals have placed former top prospect Kyle Zimmer on release waivers, as Maria Torres of the Kansas City Star was among those to report (Twitter links). He had been designated for assignment recently.
It is not entirely clear why Zimmer was placed on release rather than outright waivers, but the Royals evidently do not plan to bid adieu if he does clear. Rather, Torres notes that the hope would be to plug Zimmer back in the system — presumably, on a new minors deal — if another club does not elect to put him on its 40-man roster or otherwise woo him with a more appealing offer.
The 26-year-old Zimmer has not yet had a chance at making good on his promise owing to a litany of injuries. He has already undergone elbow, shoulder, and thoracic outlet procedures since being taken fifth overall in the 2012 draft.
Shoulder troubles again limited Zimmer last year, when he worked to a 5.40 ERA in 36 2/3 innings in the upper minors. But he was long rated as one of the game’s hundred best prospects and has recorded 310 strikeouts in his 259 career minor-league frames.