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Report: Royals to sign Brad Boxberger

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Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that the Royals and reliever Brad Boxberger are close to an agreement on a one-year, $2.2 million contract that also includes performance incentives.

Boxberger, 30, was the Diamondbacks’ closer last season. He saved 32 games with a 4.39 ERA and a 71/32 K/BB ratio in 53 1/3 innings. The right-hander was an All-Star reliever in 2015 with the Rays, leading the league with 41 saves, but struggled to stay healthy in 2016-17.

Wily Peralta handled most of the scant save opportunities for the lowly Royals last season, accruing 14 saves with a 3.67 ERA an da 35/23 K/BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings. It is not clear yet if Boxberger will assume the closer’s role from Peralta or serve as the set-up man. According to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, that will be cleared up by how each player performs in spring training.

Phillies to sign Drew Smyly

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Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies are going to sign pitcher Drew Smyly. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philly reported last night that the team and Smyly were chatting.

Smyly opted out of his minor league contract with the Brewers yesterday after allowing seven runs on 10 hits and three walks with 18 strikeouts in 12.2 innings with Triple-A San Antonio and not getting a hint of a call-up to the big club. Earlier this year he pinched off an 8.42 ERA with a 52/34 K/BB ratio in 51.1 innings for the Rangers.

He’s basically a free pitcher for Philly, who could use an arm. If he works out, he works out. If not, no loss. Well, I suppose it’s possible there’d be one loss and some walks and hits in like, four innings, or something, but you know what I mean.