Texas Rangers starting pitcher Joe Saunders (47) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals Sign Joe Saunders To Minor League Deal

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Joe Saunders was signed Tuesday to a minor league contract by the Kansas City Royals, according to a team press release.

Saunders is a 10-year veteran left-handed starter with an 89-86 record. He sports a career ERA of 4.35, and a WHIP of 1.420. The 33-year old started 8 games this season for the Texas Rangers but was awful.

In those 8 starts with the Rangers, Saunders was 0-5, with a 6.13 ERA and a bleak 2.067 WHIP. In 39.2 innings, he struck out just 22 while walking 20.

Joe Saunders was an All-Star back in 2008 when he went 17-7 with an ERA of 3.41 for the Angels. He has never been much of a strikeout pitcher, as the most he struck out in a season was in 2010 when he had 114 with the Angels and Diamondbacks.

Don’t read too much into this signing as it is most likely  emergency insurance and organizational depth for the franchise.

After their win in Tampa Bay last night, the Royals are 46-42, second in the AL Central, 3.5 games back of the front running Detroit Tigers. The Royals are just 2.5 games back of the Seattle Mariners for the second wild card spot.

The Royals are one of five teams within 6.5 games of that second wild card position. They must continue their strong pitching, and find some way to get all of their slumping hitters to produce better at the plate. Offensively it has been a disappointing season for Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, and Nori Aoki.

Raul Ibanez has been no help in his first few games as he looks slow at the plate and in the field. Surely, he will be released when Aoki returns from the Disabled List.

The Royals play the second game of their 3-game tilt with the Rays tonight, with Jason Vargas on the mound for Kansas City.

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Tags: Joe Saunders Kansas City Royals

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