Royals sign Kris Medlen for two years, with option for 2017

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Kris Medlen, who missed all of this year recovering from his second Tommy John elbow surgery, has agreed to a two-year contract with the Royals that includes a mutual option for 2017.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says it’s worth $8.5 million in guaranteed money, including a $1 million buyout of a $10 million option, and there are lots of incentives built in as well.

Before blowing out his elbow the 29-year-old Medlen emerged as one of the best starters in the league, posting a 2.47 ERA in 335 innings for the Braves between 2012 and 2013.

He has a 30-13 record and 2.96 ERA in 61 career starts, along with a 2.92 ERA in 91 career appearances as a reliever, so if healthy the Royals are potentially adding a very valuable arm.

Atlanta made Medlen a free agent by non-tendering him in early December with a projected $6 million salary looming via arbitration.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”