The Royals announced they have added reliever Wade Davis to the 40-man roster, meaning he will be on the Opening Day roster. The Royals now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.
The Royals had signed the 35-year old to a minor league deal this off-season, bringing the reliever back to where he dominated as the game’s best reliever from 2014 to 2016. In those three seasons he combined for a 1.18 ERA with 234 strikeouts in 182 2⁄3 innings as part of the vaunted “HDH” bullpen trio with Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland. He was traded to the Cubs after the 2016 season for outfielder Jorge Soler, collecting 32 saves and winning a championship.
Davis led the National League in saves with the Rockies in 2018 after signing a three-year, $52 million deal. But he struggled the next two seasons, allowing 52 runs in 47 innings, including a 20.77 ERA in 4 1⁄3 innings last year.
Davis has been sold in spring training with six shutout innings and just four hits and three walks allowed, although he has struck out just two hitters. His velocity was down to 91 mph last season with Colorado, but there were reports of him hitting 93 mph in camp this year.
Davis’ addition to the roster makes the bullpen picture a bit clearer. The Royals seem likely to begin the year with nine relievers, and Davis is likely to join Scott Barlow, Jesse Hahn, Greg Holland, Jakob Junis, and Kyle Zimmer. Josh Staumont will make the team if he is healthy and ready to go after losing weight during a battle with COVID-19. That would two more spots among lefties Jake Brentz, Richard Lovelady, and Jake Kalish, and right-handers Brad Brach, Carlos Hernández, Jake Newberry, and Ervin Santana.