The Royals have put the finishing touches on its five-man pitching rotation. On the final day of the Major League Baseball winter meeting, Kansas City came to terms with right hander Gil Meche. The deal is reportedly for five years worth $55 million.
“Gil Meche is a guy we feel fits into what we’re trying to do here for the long term,” said Royals general manager Dayton Moore. “We felt he has the best raw stuff among all of the free agents out there.”
Meche’s contract ties for the richest contract in franchise history. Only Mike Sweeney has ever signed a deal with the Royals for as much money. Sweeney’s contract expires after next season.
Meche finished last season 11-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 32 starts with the Mariners. The contract does not technically go into effect until after Meche passes a physical examination this week.
Over his six-year career, Meche has been with the Mariners the entire time compiling a 55-44 record with a 4.65 ERA. His best year came in 2003 when he recorded 15 wins. Early indications have Meche as the staff ace for the Royals. He will lead a rotation that includes Odalis Perez, Luke Hudson, Jorge De la Rosa, and either newly acquired Brian Bannister or Zack Greinke.
Bannister was involved in a trade that brought him to Kansas City from the Mets in exchange for reliever Ambiorix Burgos.
In another move today, starter Runelvys Hernandez was released to make room for a Rule 5 draft selection. The Royals selected pitcher Joakim Soria from San Diego. More roster moves will need to be made once Meche’s deal becomes official.