Bailey, who’s a month from his 33rd birthday, will try to resurrect his career in Kansas City. He earned the chance after turning in 13 1/3 innings of 4.05 ERA ball in camp, with 7.4 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. Once a quality rotation piece with the Reds, Bailey has struggled to a 6.25 ERA in just 231 2/3 innings over the past four seasons while dealing with significant arm issues.
As for Ellis, the 26-year-old just made his first MLB appearance after winning a spot out of camp as a Rule 5 pick. He’ll be offered back to the Cardinals if he isn’t claimed. Ellis has spent most of his time in the minors as a starter. Last year, he pitched to a 3.93 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 over 132 2/3 innings with the Cards’ top two affiliates.
On the face of things, this transaction isn’t a terribly significant one. Rule 5 picks are dropped with quite some frequency, after all, and veteran starters such as Bailey are often tapped for innings. But the Royals evidently found something to like in Ellis, with skipper Ned Yost saying that the club wanted to “give it a full look” because they liked his stuff. (Via Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star, on Twitter.) If that’s truly the case, it’s a bit odd that the organization couldn’t find room for Ellis on a roster that includes several low-upside veteran pitchers and a bizarre bench mix featuring two first basemen/designated hitters (Lucas Duda and Frank Schwindel, who supplement Ryan O’Hearn and Jorge Soler) and an outfielder who’s known almost exclusively as a pinch runner and defensive replacement (Terrance Gore).