The Royals announced this morning that they’ve signed reliever Arodys Vizcaíno to a minor league contract. As a minor league free agent, the right-hander remained eligible to sign a non-roster deal over the course of the lockout. Should he crack the big league club, Vizcaíno would lock in a $1MM base salary with an additional $500K available in incentives, reports Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter).
Vizcaíno has appeared in parts of seven major league seasons, with the bulk of his time coming with the Braves. He debuted with Atlanta in 2011, making 17 appearances as a rookie. Vizcaíno required Tommy John surgery the following Spring Training and missed the entirety of the next two seasons. While rehabbing, he was traded to the Cubs. After making five appearances with the North Siders in 2014, Vizcaíno was flipped back to Atlanta, where he’d spend the next few years.
Between 2015-18, the Dominican Republic native was a generally reliable member of the Braves relief corps. He posted 30+ innings with a sub-3.00 ERA in three of those four campaigns, spending a good chunk of time as Atlanta’s closer. Vizcaíno underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in April 2019, though, and he hasn’t appeared in the majors since. Flipped to the Mariners for salary relief, he qualified for free agency at the end of the 2019 campaign. Vizcaíno went unsigned in 2020 and only made seven outings with the Mets Triple-A affiliate last year.
It has now been more than three years since Vizcaíno was a regular member of a big league bullpen. Yet there’s no harm for the Royals in taking a flier on a pitcher with some MLB success on his resume. Vizcaíno has sported a mid-high 90’s fastball in the past. If that velocity returns a few years after his shoulder procedure, it’s possible he’ll factor into the Kansas City bullpen at some point.