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Royals sign reliever Justin Anderson to minor league deal

The 30-year old has some big league experience.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have signed right-hander Justin Anderson to a minor league deal, according to the transaction page. Anderson has some big league experience, appearing in 111 games with the Angels from 2018-19, with a 4.75 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 102 1/3 innings. He did have trouble with walks, issuing 6.3 per-nine-innings, and put up a 5.55 ERA in 47 innings in his last big league season in 2019.

Anderson had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and has had trouble getting back on the mound since. The Angels non-tendered him, and he pitched a handful of innings in the Rangers’ minor league system in the last two seasons. He pitched just three innings in Triple-A last year and became a minor league free agent after the season.

Anderson is a fastball/slider pitcher with an occasional sinker. He threw 97 mph in 2018, but had a significant velocity drop the next season. The Houston native was originally a 14th round pick by the Angels in 2014 out of the University of Texas-San Antonio.

The Anderson signing may not be sexy, but the Royals need to be looking for arms wherever they can find it. Many relievers around baseball are pitchers let go by other organizations, who fixed their approach and find some success. Whether or not Anderson can enjoy that kind of career resurrection remains to be seen.