The Royals continue their off-season roster shakeups this week with two separate deals, sending right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress to Toronto for cash considerations, and left-handed pitcher Tommy Hottovy to Texas for a player to be named later and cash considerations. Dayton Moore once said pitching was the currency of baseball and it appears today he meant that literally.
Jeffress, 25, was acquired as part of the Zack Greinke deal. A one-time Top 100 Prospect for Baseball America, the hard-throwing righty hurt his stock in Milwaukee by being suspended for substance abuse, and never harnessed his control in Kansas City. In 27 relief appearances for Kansas City, he posted a 5.65 ERA, with 26 strikeouts, 24 walks, and 22 runs allowed in 28 1/3 innings. Pitching for AAA Omaha this year, he posted a 4.97 ERA in 37 relief appearances with 9.7 strikeouts and 3.9 walks per nine innings.
Hottovy, 31, was a local kid having graduated from Park Hill South in the Kansas City metro area. He was signed as a minor league free agent after a career in the Boston organization. Hottovy pitched 9 1/3 innings for the Royals with a 2.89 ERA, five walks, and six strikeouts. Lefties posted a .650 OPS in 24 plate appearances against the southpaw. Hottovy posted a 2.52 ERA in AAA Omaha with over eleven strikeouts and 2.9 walks per nine innings.
Both players had been designated for assignment last week and removed from the 40 man roster.