The Royals began their juggling of the 40-man roster today by outrighting right-handed pitcher Nate Karns from the 40-man roster and losing left-hander Jerry Vasto on waivers to the Cubs.
The Royals needed to activate four players from the 60-day disabled list this week - Karns, Jesse Hahn, Jorge Soler, and Cheslor Cuthbert. Jason Hammel and Alcides Escobar were granted free agency, opening up two roster spots. Losing Vasto on waivers opens another, and the Royals simply outrighted Karns to Omaha. He rejected his assignment, making him a free agent.
Karns was acquired from the Royals in a trade with the Mariners before the 2017 season for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. He showed glimpses of good pitching, but missed the final four months of that season following thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. He was set to be in the starting rotation out of spring training this year, but was placed on the disabled list just before the season opener with inflammation in his elbow. He continued to suffer setback and never throw a pitch this season. Karns turns 31 next month and has suffered a myriad of injuries throughout his six-year Major League career.
Jerry Vasto is a 26-year old left-handed reliever acquired in August from the Colorado Rockies in a trade for Drew Butera. He appeared in just five games with the Royals, allowing one run in 3 2⁄3 innings.
Once the Royals activate their players from the 60-day disabled list, it will bring the Royals to a full 40-man roster, although they may still want to add minor leaguers such as Josh Staumont, Foster Griffin, and Arnaldo Hernandez to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Other candidates to be dropped from the 40-man roster include Paulo Orlando, Jesse Hahn, and Bubba Starling.