The Royals signed right-hander Brandon League to a minor league deal on Saturday, according to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. The 33-year-old is one of 22 non-roster invitees and was picked up along with fellow right-handers Al Alburquerque and Chris Withrow.
Of the three, League has the most obstacles to overcome in order to land a spot on the Royals’ roster this spring. He hasn’t pitched professionally since 2015, when he made 10 appearances for the Dodgers’ High-A and Triple-A affiliates while recovering from shoulder impingement. Prior to 2015, he played three years with the Dodgers at the major league level, sustaining a cumulative 3.55 ERA and 0.1 fWAR over 144 2/3 innings.
In a best-case scenario, League could provide the kind of production value he amassed during his last season with the Dodgers, complete with the career-best 2.57 ERA and 0.0 HR/9 rate. At worst, his age and chronic shoulder problems will force the Royals to turn to another veteran arm. At least for the time being, it looks like they have plenty to choose from.
We already went over the 34 players who remain unsigned after Friday afternoon’s deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. Here are the 121 players who did agree to deals with their respective teams.
The data below includes the players’ salaries as well as their arbitration eligibility information. The first number in the “Arb Yr” column denotes which year of eligibility a player is in and the second number is the total number of arbitration-eligible years for the player. Clicking “Link” will take you to the source of the information for that particular row.
The biggest determining factor in a player’s salary is his service time. Player A may be significantly more valuable than Player B, but if Player B is in his fourth year of arbitration eligibility to Player’A first year, then Player B will almost always earn more money. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo is a great example, as he is earning $9.15 million despite posting only 1.6 Wins Above Replacement this past season, according to Baseball Reference. Arbitration salaries are only partially a reflection of a player’s actual skill.