Kyle Zimmer
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Royals sign Kyle Zimmer

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The Royals signed right-hander Kyle Zimmer to a one-year major league contract, the team announced Friday. It’s a split deal, according to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, who says Zimmer is due the minimum $555,000 if he sticks in the majors and $124,000 if the club chooses to stash him in the minors again.

It’s been a slow and arduous road to the Show for the 27-year-old righty, who has yet to reach the majors after six years in the Royals’ farm system. In 2016, he underwent surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in his pitching arm, then worked his way up to Triple-A Omaha for the first time in 2017. He didn’t pitch a single inning at any level in 2018, however, opting instead to undergo an intensive training program with Driveline Baseball in the hopes that he could avoid additional shoulder and arm injuries going forward. It’s clear the Royals saw enough progress from Zimmer that they feel he’ll be capable of handling a major-league role come spring, though he also has an option remaining on his contract should things start to go south again.

In a corresponding move, corner infielder Cheslor Cuthbert has been designated for assignment. The 26-year-old rounded out a four-year campaign with the Royals in 2018, slashing a career-worst .194/.282/.301 with three home runs and seven RBI across 117 PA.