The Royals have signed reliever Justin Grimm to one-year deal, according to Rustin Dodd of The Athletic. Grimm was released last week by the Chicago Cubs because he was out of options, but will earn $1.25 million with the Royals. To make room for Grimm on the roster, the Royals designated pitcher Sam Gaviglio for assignment.
Grimm will make $1.25 million, plus up to $300K in performance bonuses from the Royals. In addition, the Cubs owe him roughly a fourth of his $2.2 million deal for 2018.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) March 18, 2018
The 29-year old Grimm made 263 appearances for the Cubs over the last four seasons, with a strikeout rate of 10.4 per-nine-innings over that time. He struggled last year with a 5.53 ERA and 5.36 FIP in 55 1⁄3 innings, but he struck out 59. His best year came in 2015 when he had a 1.99 ERA with 12.1 strikeouts per-nine-innings. He has struggled with command his career, with a 4.1 walks-per-nine innings over the last four seasons combined.
Grimm was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the fifth round of the 2010 draft out of the University of Georgia. He was traded to the Cubs as part of the deal for pitcher Matt Garza in 2013. He is a fastball-curveball pitcher, with a heater that averages 95 mph. In 2016, his curveball ranked as the best among relievers, according to Fangraphs. Grimm is eligible for arbitration, but is not eligible for free agency until after the 2019 season.
The Royals needed more depth to their bullpen and Grimm brings a live arm with plenty of upside. The team also sent down pitcher Miguel Almonte and Trevor Oaks to minor league camp, so the bullpen is starting to come into focus. Grimm joins Kelvin Herrera and Brandon Maurer as locks with Wily Peralta and Brian Flynn strong favorites to make it. Kevin McCarthy and Rule 5 pick Burch Smith are among those battling veterans like Seth Maness, Ricky Nolasco, and Blaine Boyer for the last two spots in the pen.