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Royals sign right-hander Mike Mayers to minor league deal

Mayers has had some solid seasons as a reliever.

New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Royals announced they have signed right-hander Mike Mayers to a minor league deal. The 31-year-old has spent parts of seven years in the big leagues and appeared in 24 games, mostly in relief for the Angels last year with a 5.68 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 50 23 innings before being designated for assignment in late September.

Mayers was originally a third-round pick by the Cardinals out of the University of Mississippi in 2013. He had an inauspicious Major League debut, allowing nine runs while recording four outs, the first big leaguer to give up that many runs in less than two innings in his debut. He spent parts of four seasons with the Cardinals from 2016-2019 with inconsistent results and was placed on waivers after the 2019 season. The Angels claimed him and he enjoyed his best season the next year with a 2.10 ERA in 29 appearances, then made a career-high 72 appearances in 2021 with a 3.84 ERA and 10.8 strikeouts-per-nine innings.

Mayers primarily throws a fastball that sits at 94 mph and a slider, with an occasional cutter. He has had a career walk rate of 8.3 percent, near league-average. He did make some starts towards the end of last season, so it is possible the Royals could see him as a starter, although just 6 of his 198 career MLB games have been starts.