The Kansas City Royals have agreed to terms with former New York Mets pitcher Dillon Gee on a minor league deal, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports adds that Gee has an opt-out date of March 15. That gives the right-hander leverage as the Royals will not have a lot of time to decide if they want to add Gee to their roster. That was part of the deal for Royals to sign Gee as he received Major League offers, albeit from “rebuilding teams,” per Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
Rosenthal gave the breakdown of Gee’s contract if he’s added to the Royals’ Major League roster.
Gee with #Royals: $2M base if on major-league roster plus $3.3M in bonuses for games started and $700K in bonuses for relief appearances.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 18, 2015
Gee, 29, was designated for assignment by the Mets last season after getting off to a poor start, as The Inquisitr reported. A poor start in April, a groin injury, and a dreadful performance upon returning sealed Gee’s fate. Also, young flamethrower Noah Syndergaard had firmly cemented himself in the Mets’ rotation at that point, thus making Gee expendable.
Just prior to being designated for assignment, Gee spoke to the New York Times, venting his frustrations about being demoted to the bullpen upon his return.
“I’m almost at the point now where I just don’t even care anymore. I mean, I’m kind of just over it all. I’ll do the best I can out of the pen now. I kind of felt like any value, if I had any at all before this, it’s probably gone.”
With the Mets’ young, deep, and talented core of starters, Gee was the subject of many trade rumors last offseason through Spring Training. But, due to his $5.3 million salary, teams were weary of trading for the Cleblume, Texas, native.
Despite his struggles in 2015, Gee has shown to be a serviceable pitcher at the big league level. In his first full season in 2011, Gee went 13-6 with a 4.34 ERA in 30 appearances (27 starts). Two seasons later in 2013, Gee enjoyed arguably his best season as a starter. In 32 starts, Gee went 12-11 with a 3.62 ERA in 199 innings.
For his career, Gee owns a 40-37 record with a 4.03 ERA in 679-and-one-third innings.
Never known for his velocity, Gee is primarily a ground ball pitcher who tries to keep batters off balance with a mix of three average pitches. FanGraphs pegs Gee’s career groundball rate at 46 percent.
Here’s a scouting report from 2009 when Gee was a top prospect in the Mets’ system, via SB Nation’s Amazin’ Avenue.
“He throws three different pitches, a fastball that generally sits 89-91 mph with some movement, a solid changeup, and usable slider. Though none of the three pitches grades as an above-average major league pitch, he commands them all well, and can throw all three for strikes in any count.”
With the Royals being a defensive-minded squad, Gee could find success as either a back-end starter of a long reliever out of the bullpen. Tendencies to produce groundballs could be the perfect match for Gee as the 2015 World Series champions boast an elite defensive squad.
The Royals’ outfield also features the speedy Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson. With former Gold Glove outfielder Alex Gordon expected to sign elsewhere, the Royals could actually lose an elite defender this offseason.
[Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images]