The Royals announced they have signed pitcher Luis Cessa to a minor league deal, and have also re-signed catcher Logan Porter, outfielder Diego Hernandez, and pitcher Austin Cox to minor league deals.
The 31-year-old Cessa has spent eight years in the big leagues with the Yankees and Reds as both a starter and reliever with a career ERA of 4.43 in 425 innings. He had a 2.51 ERA in 64 2⁄3 innings but has struggled since then with low strikeout rates. This year had a 9.00 ERA with 11 strikeouts and 12 walks in 26 innings with Cincinnati. Cessa relies heavily on a slider, mixing in a 91 mph four-seamer, change, and sinker. At his peak he had a groundball rate north of 50 percent, but it fell to just 37 percent this year.
Porter, Hernandez, and Cox were all non-tendered yesterday to remove them from the 40-man roster without exposing them to waivers. The 28-year-old Porter appeared in 11 games for the Royals this year after hitting .232/.339/.377 in 110 games for Omaha. Hernandez missed the first half of the season with a shoulder surgery, but the speedy outfielder, who turns 23 next week, hit .262/.324/.348 with 19 steals in 69 games across High-A and Double-A. Cox set a record for most batters faced to start a career without allowing a hit, posting a 4.54 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings. However the 26-year-old lefty suffered a major knee injury late in the year that makes him doubtful for the start of next season.