Kansas City Royals: Reliever Neftali Feliz Set to Sign With Royals

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 16: Neftali Feliz
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 16: Neftali Feliz /

Bullpen dominance has been a hallmark of the Kansas City Royals over the past few seasons. Unfortunately, the bullpen has been less than bulletproof in 2017. The team hopes to change that with the rumored addition of free agent reliever Neftail Feliz.

Just a few short weeks ago, many were calling for the Kansas City Royals to wave the white flag. Now the Royals find themselves rapidly approaching .500 and climbing up standings in both the Divisional and Wild Card races.

It was an industry-wide opinion that the Royals should trade anything of value in order to hasten a rebuild. Instead, per ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Royals now seem likely to hold on to stars Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain.

Not only that, but Dayton Moore is taking steps to reinforce a once-dominant bullpen with the pending signing of reliever Neftali Feliz.

As reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Royals have agreed to terms with Feliz, pending a physical. I believe that Feliz will go a long way towards shoring up potential problems in the bullpen.

What Can the Royals Expect From Feliz?

Feliz was designated for assignment by the Milwaukee Brewers on June 19th in order to make room on the roster for starting pitcher Matt Garza as he returned from injury. Similar to what occurred with the Royals and Christian Colon, Feliz was out of options and therefore became a free agent.

It’s true that 2017 has not been a good year for Feliz. He currently has a 1-5 record and an ERA of 6.00 in 29 appearances. His struggles led to the Brewers demoting him from the closer’s role and ultimately to Milwaukee cutting ties with him all together.

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I do believe in the Kansas City Royals and Dave Eiland’s ability to harness his talent though. Feliz’s fastball still clocks in at 100 mph. His struggles have been primarily due to a lack of control this season and mechanical flaws with his offspeed pitches.

Looking at his career, it’s evident Feliz’s best season was in 2010 as the AL Rookie of the Year for the Texas Rangers. For his career, Feliz has recorded a 3.37 ERA over 337 games played. In addition, he has accumulated 107 saves during that time.

How Will the Royals Use Feliz?

Fans shouldn’t be surprised to see Feliz begin his Kansas City Royals tenure in Omaha as he works to resolve his current issues. Following that, the Royals will use Feliz in low-leverage to build his confidence. If Matt Strahm remains in the starting rotation for the time being, Feliz’s contributions will likely come in the sixth or seventh innings.

If things go Dayton Moore’s way with this signing, the Royals have added an impressive weapon to their bullpen as they seek a return to the postseason. At only 29 years of age, Feliz is still young and could be a potential signing for the Royals in 2018 if things go well this year.

If Feliz doesn’t live up to expectations, at least the KC Royals won’t be stuck paying a large salary. Per MLBTradeRumors.com, the Royals will only owe Feliz a pro-rated portion of the league minimum. The remainder of the $5.35 million he is owed will come from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Regardless of how Neftali Feliz ends up performing, the Kansas City Royals are leaving no stone unturned in an attempt to return to the World Series.