Royals add veteran starting pitcher Homer Bailey on minor-league deal

The Royals added right-handed former Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey on minor-league contract Saturday, adding another veteran pitcher with big-league experience to the mix as they head into spring training.

Bailey, 32, has spent his entire 12-year career in the majors as a starter, and he has pitched exclusively in the National League for the Reds. Along with the minor-league deal, Bailey received an invitation to spring training with the Royals.

The Texas native has been hampered by injuries in recent seasons and began the 2015-17 seasons on the Reds’ disabled list. He started 20 games in 2018, including opening day. He finished the season with a 1-14 record and 6.09 ERA in 106 1/3 innings. He struck out 75 and walked 33.

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The Reds traded Bailey to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a seven-player deal this winter, but he was released and became a free agent. The Dodgers will pay the $23 million owed Bailey from the six-year, $105 million contract he signed with the Reds in 2014. That allowed Bailey to sign with the Royals for the big-league minimum.

Bailey can opt out of his deal with the Royals by March 25, a source confirmed to The Star.

A former first-round draft pick, taken seventh overall in 2004, Bailey has started 212 career games and posted a 67-77 record with a 4.56 ERA, a 1.38 WHIP and a 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. His resume includes a pair of no-hitters, one in 2012 against Pittsburgh and another in 2013 against San Francisco.

Royals’ pitchers and catchers report to the team’s facility for spring training on Tuesday in Surprise, Ariz.

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.