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Royals release Buchholz due to opt-out clause

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

BOSTON -- The Royals released veteran right-hander Clay Buchholz on Tuesday, the day of his opt-out clause in his Minor League deal.

Buchholz, 33, had been signed on March 25. He threw 16 Minor League innings between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, giving up 10 hits and two runs, along with seven walks and nine strikeouts.

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BOSTON -- The Royals released veteran right-hander Clay Buchholz on Tuesday, the day of his opt-out clause in his Minor League deal.

Buchholz, 33, had been signed on March 25. He threw 16 Minor League innings between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, giving up 10 hits and two runs, along with seven walks and nine strikeouts.

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Buchholz, a former All-Star with the Red Sox, was traded to the Phillies prior to the 2017 season. He then missed most of the year because of right forearm surgery.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said they had hoped to keep Buchholz in the Minor Leagues so he could continue to build arm strength.

"But he had that opt-out [clause], and he chose free agency," Moore told MLB.com. "It just wasn't the right fit."

Moore said the Royals were comfortable with their present starting rotation, which includes left-hander Eric Skoglund, who is coming off throwing his best game in the Major Leagues on Saturday: seven innings, two hits, one run and nine strikeouts.

"And we also have Justin Grimm and Nate Karns, who eventually will come off the disabled list, and we'll need room for that," Moore said.

The Royals also would have had to bump a player off the 40-man roster to make room for Buchholz.

Asked if the Royals considered Buchholz a possibility for the bullpen, Moore said, "We signed him as a starter, and his preference is to be a starter."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Clay Buchholz