The Kansas City Royals have announced that they have signed left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders to a minor league deal. He will be assigned to Triple-A Omaha. Saunders was released by the Texas Rangers on Friday.
The Royals announced this via a press release:
The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have signed veteran left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders to a minor league contract. He opened the year with the Texas Rangers, but was released on July 4. He will be assigned to Triple-A Omaha.
Joe Saunders has struggled the last two years, but still insists to teams that he he is still a starting pitcher, as teams are starting to think he is better off in the bullpen. In forty starts since the beginning of the 2013 season, he has registered a disastrous 5.42 ERA. His splits suggest that he is better off as being used as a situational lefty reliever.
Saunders struggled with the Rangers, after signing a minor league deal with them in March, making eight starts. In those eight starts, he was winless with five losses along with a 6.13 ERA in 39.2 innings of work. He lost his last three decisions in the starting rotation, as he gave up 17 runs in 13.2 innings, although he did lower his ERA to 6.13.
Joe Saunders was an All-Star in 2008 with the Los Angeles Angels, where he picked up seventeen wins that season, a career-high for wins. He is 89-86 in his ten-year career, with a 4.35 ERA while pitching for the Angels (2005-10), Arizona Diamondbacks (2010-12), Baltimore Orioles (2012), Seattle Mariners (2013) and Rangers (2014).