The Royals on Monday announced that they’ve requested unconditional release waivers on first baseman/outfielder Ryan McBroom. The move, according to the Royals, was made in order to allow McBroom to sign with a professional club in Asia. Kansas City did not divulge whether McBroom will be signing with a team in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, the Korea Baseball Organization or the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. Wherever McBroom lands, the Royals will likely receive some minor financial compensation for facilitating the move.
McBroom, 29, has been up and down between Triple-A and the big leagues for the past three seasons, posting a .268/.322/.427 slash with six home runs and eight doubles through 177 Major League plate appearances. He’s punched out at an alarming 34.5% clip during that time and walked in 6.8% of his plate appearances.
With top prospect Nick Pratto looming and likely to debut early next season, plus the likes of Carlos Santana, Hunter Dozier and several outfielders ahead of him on the depth chart, McBroom wasn’t likely to see an uptick in playing time moving forward. A jump to an Asian club, whether it’s NPB, the KBO or the CPBL, will afford him more regular playing time and quite likely a notable increase in pay over what he’d have made splitting his time between Triple-A Omaha and the occasional big league promotion.
While McBroom has yet to piece things together in limited big league experience, he’ll head overseas with a strong track record in the upper minors. McBroom has appeared in parts of three Triple-A seasons and turned in a much heartier .290/.361/.517 batting line through 1363 plate appearances with the Triple-A affiliates for both the Yankees and the Royals. He’ll turn 30 next April, but with a good few seasons of play in a foreign professional league, he could eventually follow a Darin Ruf-esque path to the big leagues if that’s his eventual goal.
The Royals’ 40-man roster was already at 38 players, and McBroom’s departure will drop that total to 37 players.