Royals sign right-hander Chris Young to a one-year contract

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The Royals added some rotation depth Saturday by signing right-hander Chris Young to a one-year contract. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that Young will receive a $675,000 base salary with $5.325 in possible incentives. Pretty interesting deal.

Young didn’t pitch at all in the majors in 2013 and required thoracic outlet surgery, but he posted a 3.65 ERA and 108/60 K/BB ratio over 165 innings with the Mariners last season and won the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award. Still, the market for him was very quiet this winter. It’s understandable, as Young has a long injury history, gives up a ton of home runs and fly balls, and his peripherals weren’t very impressive last season.

It’s hard to see where Young fits with the Royals right now, as they already project to have Yordano Ventura, Jason Vargas, Edinson Volquez, Danny Duffy, and Jeremy Guthrie lined up to begin the year in the starting rotation. He offers insurance at the very least. And the Royals, with their outstanding outfield defense, at least fit his fly ball tendencies.

In order to make room for Young on the 40-man roster, the Royals transferred right-hander Kris Medlen on the 60-day disabled list as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.