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Royals sign former Kansas Jayhawks pitcher Sam Freeman

The lefty has 271 Major League appearances.

Baltimore Orioles v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Royals announced they have signed 34-year old left-handed reliever Sam Freeman to a minor league contract. Teams can still sign players that did not end the season on the 40-man roster to minor league contracts during the transaction freeze.

Freeman was originally a 32nd-round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008 out of the University of Kansas. The Texas native has pitched in parts of nine seasons in the big leagues, with 271 relief appearances and a 3.53 ERA in 233 23 innings with the Cardinals, Rangers, Brewers, Braves, Angels, and Nationals. He missed the entire 2021 season after Tommy John surgery and last pitched in 2020 with Washington, giving up two hits and seven walks in five innings of work.

Freeman is a fastball/sinker/slider pitcher, who relies on his 50 percent groundball rate. Despite being a lefty reliever, he has a reverse career platoon split, with lefties hitting .243/./359/.353 against him, while righties hit just .216/.324/.293.

The Royals are short on left-handed relievers with Richard Lovelady likely out for much of the season following his Tommy John surgery. Other lefties expected to be in spring training for the Royals include Jake Brentz, Gabe Speier, Angel Zerpa, and Daniel Tillo.