Fresh off of their 2015 World Series Championship, the Kansas City Royals have continued their new tradition of acquiring veteran role players as free agents, to supplement their nucleus of young stars. Today, that acquisition was Dillon Gee, who has signed a minor-league contract with the club.
The deal is noteworthy because the Royals have proven especially adept at identifying undervalued veteran talent. Last offseason, Kansas City signed starting pitcher Chris Young to a contract worth only $675,000. After starting the season in the bullpen, Young moved into the starting rotation, including earning a start in the World Series. Young held down a 3.06 ERA in 123.1 innings last season, and then agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract (with an $8 million team option for 2018) with Kansa City this offseason.
Gee was drafted by the New York Mets deep in the 21st round of the 2007 Draft. The Mets were the only organization that Gee had played for until his free agency this winter. From 2011-2014, Gee started at least 17 games each season for the Mets, but poor performance limited him to just seven major-league starts in 2015. Gee has a career 4.03 ERA and 4.25 FIP in 679.1 career innings.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Gee’s tenure with the Royals started in the bullpen. From Young to Wade Davis, the Royals have a track record of reviving pitchers’ careers by starting them off via relief work.