Royals agree to deal with Feliz; Young DFA'd

June 23rd, 2017

KANSAS CITY -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore said the move to designate right-hander for assignment was something discussed two weeks ago.

"It was very difficult," Moore said on Friday. "... As the season progressed, we thought we would perhaps have to make a move [like this]."

Then, when Moore was driving home after the Royals' dramatic 6-4 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday, he received a call from his staff that the club had reached a deal with right-hander , who recently had been DFA'd by the Brewers.

Moore called Young to his home on Thursday morning and delivered the news.

"It was hard," Moore said. "But it was the right thing to do.

"He was the MVP of our pitching staff in 2015 in my mind. He was one of the pillars of our team. He'll be missed. I know that I'm a better person for being around Chris. I'd like to partner with him in the future in some endeavor."

Royals manager Ned Yost said Young had the "heart of a gladiator."

But after Young's terrific season (11-6, 3.06 ERA) in 2015, he never was quite the same here. His ERA ballooned to 6.19 last season in 34 games. This season, he had a 7.50 ERA in 14 games.

Moore said Young, 38, expressed a desire to continue pitching for another club. The Royals will have seven days to trade Young or give him his outright release.

Young is owed over half of his $5.75 million contract this season, plus a $1.5 million buyout for 2018.

Meanwhile, the Royals believe they can get some production out of the 29-year-old Feliz, who still throws in the 96- to 97-mph range.

"Low risk, high reward," Yost said.

In 29 games for the Brewers this season, Feliz was 1-5 with a 6.00 ERA.

"I think he was better than those numbers," Yost said. "He was like 8-for-9 in save situations and had a lot of scoreless outings.

"[Pitching coach] Dave [Eiland] looked on video of him and saw some mechanical things he can tweak."

Moore was in the Braves' scouting department when Atlanta signed Feliz as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2005.

"He was a skinny kid back then with a big arm," Moore said. "I thought, 'Mariano Rivera.'"

Yost, noting that Feliz hasn't pitched in nine days, said he will ease him into low-leverage situations at first.

"He can be a setup guy, for sure," Yost said.

Feliz also has pitched for the Rangers, Tigers and Pirates.