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Royals sign reliever Blaine Boyer to minor league deal

36-year-olds with low strikeout rates are the new market inefficiency.

Cleveland Indians v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Royals have signed 36-year-old right-handed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal. Boyer has an eleven-year MLB career with a 4.19 ERA having spent time with the Braves, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, Twins, Brewers, and Red Sox. Last year in Boston, he appeared in 32 games with a 4.35 ERA in 41 13 innings and a 3.59 FIP.

Boyer pitched in the Royals organization in 2013, spending six weeks in Omaha before being let go. He originally began his career as a third-round pick by the Braves in 2000, rising through their system when Dayton Moore was with the organization.

Boyer is a “pitch-to-contact” guy, although his 7.2 strikeouts-per-nine innings last year was the highest of his career since 2008. Over the last four seasons combined, only two relievers have a lower strikeout rate.

Blaine has received some notoriety for his work with Exodus Road, a non-profit that seeks to intervene in sex trafficking around the world. Along with his friend Adam LaRoche, the former Major League first baseman, the pair traveled the world for ten days attempting to free women from the sex slave trade.

Boyer will compete for a bullpen spot as the Royals seek to add more depth. With so many Major League free agents still looking for work, the club may be able to bolster their pen on the cheap.