The Royals announced they have acquired pitcher James McArthur from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for outfielder Junior Marin and cash considerations. To make room on the 40-man roster, they designated outfielder Franmil Reyes for assignment.
McArthur is a 26-year old right-hander who was originally a 12th round pick out of Ole Miss in 2018 and stands at an imposing 6’7’’, 230 pounds. He was added to the 40-man roster after the 2021 season, but struggled in Double-A with a 5.05 ERA in 13 starts, and missed the second half of the season with elbow stress reaction.
McArthur’s fastball was down in 2022, but Eric Longenhagen reported he was back up to the mid-90s this spring. He ranked McArthur as the #32 prospect in the Phillies farm system, writing:
His fastball plays down a bit due to its shape and angle, so every tick of velocity he has will be important. He works with sink and has a two-plane curveball that operates as his most frequent secondary pitch, while a rare cutter has begun to creep into his usage, which will hopefully give him a tool to keep hitters off his fastballs. Without a true plus pitch, McArthur looks more like an up/down depth option than a true on-roster, middle-inning archetype.
McArthur has pitched 16 innings in Triple-A this year with 15 strikeouts and 7 walks and a 7.31 ERA. He was designated for assignment last week to make room for pitcher Jeff Hoffman. The Royals have been shuttling relievers up and down in the last week, and have gotten poor results from many pitchers at Triple-A Omaha. McArthur will likely begin there but could be brought up as part of the revolving door in the bullpen.
Junior Marin is a 19-year old outfielder the Royals signed out of Venezuela. Last year he hit .315/.379/.413 in 30 games for the Arizona Complex League team, and he has not played in an affiliated game this year.
Franmil Reyes was signed to a minor league deal this off-season and made the Opening Day roster, but hit just .186/.231/.288 with two home runs in 19 games and a 36.9 percent strikeout rate. He was optioned to Triple-A Omaha last week, where he was 3-for-15 with one home runs and seven strikeouts. The Royals can trade him within seven days, or he can be claimed on waivers. If he clears, he can be released or outrighted back to Omaha.