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Royals sign left-handed reliever Scott Downs

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The Royals look to for veteran depth as they pick up the 38 year old lefty specialist.

Tom Pennington

The Royals have signed left-handed reliever specialist Scott Downs to a contract for the remainder of the year. The 38 year old had been released by the White Sox on July 3. Downs had a 6.08 ERA in 23.2 innings this year for the White Sox, but was still solid against lefties, allowing them to hit .224/.309/.367 in 55 plate appearances. In his career, Downs has held lefties to a clip of .219/.288/.321. His FIP is just 3.69 this year with spikes in his strikeout rate and walk rate.

Downs is a 13-year Major League veteran, having played for the Cubs, Expos, Blue Jays, Angels, Braves, and White Sox. He signed a one year $3.75 million deal with Chicago this past offseason, although the Royals are only obligated to pay him the league minimum as Downs has cleared waivers. Downs had a vesting option for 2015 for $4.25 million that kicks in with 55 appearances, but now that he has been released, that option cannot vest.

To make room on the roster, the Royals optioned right-handed reliever Casey Coleman to AAA Omaha.