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.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.