The Royals announced Wednesday that veteran right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak opted for free agency over an assignment to Triple-A after going unclaimed on outright waivers. He’s now free to sign with any team.
Swarzak, 35, has pitched for both the D-backs and Royals this season but been clobbered for 13 runs on 20 hits, including four homers, in 12 1/3 innings of work. He yielded eight runs in 7 2/3 frames before being designated for assignment in Kansas City. Swarzak didn’t pitch in the Majors last year and worked to a combined 5.08 ERA in 79 2/3 innings from 2018-19 between the Mets, Mariners and Braves.
Swarzak’s best season came back in 2017, when he posted a 2.33 ERA and a career-best 30 percent strikeout rate in 77 1/3 innings between the White Sox and Brewers. He’s battled shoulder troubles and been inconsistent since that time, however. It’s been several years since Swarzak has looked like an effective big league reliever on a consistent basis, but he had a good showing in Triple-A earlier this year. Given the number of clubs around the league who are scrambling to find bullpen help, the 11-year big league veteran could well find interest from a new organization on a minor league arrangement.