Déjà vu: Royals sign Wade Davis, another great former KC reliever

Reliever Wade Davis and catcher Drew Butera celebrate the Royals' 2015 world championship.

A year ago, the Kansas City Royals bolstered their bullpen with the signing of two veteran relievers, one of whom who had pitched for them in championship seasons. They made another similar move Wednesday.

The Royals announced the signing to a minor league contract of reliever Wade Davis, who struck out the final New York Mets batter in the 12th inning of Kansas City’s World Series-clinching Game 5 victory in 2015.

Last spring, the Royals signed Greg Holland, also a member of that championship team, and Trevor Rosenthal, a record-setting reliever for manager Mike Matheny’s teams in St. Louis. Both relievers were strong parts of what became the Royals’ best bullpen since the days of Holland and Davis when Kansas City won American League championships in 2014 and ’15.

Davis, 35, was a two-time All-Star while pitching for Kansas City from 2013-16. The right-hander had 32 saves for the Chicago Cubs in 2017 and again was an All-Star. He pitched for the Colorado Rockies from 2018-20, leading the National League in saves (43) and games finished (63) in 2018 and tallying 15 saves in 50 appearances in 2019. He made five appearances in 2020 for the Rockies, who released him in September.

Davis will be invited to major league spring training, joining Holland, who is back with the team on a major league contract after signing a minor league deal a year ago, as Rosenthal did. The Royals traded Rosenthal to San Diego on Aug. 29.

According to The Associated Press, if Davis is added to the 40-man roster he would get a one-year contract paying at a rate of $1.25 million while in the major leagues and $200,000 while in the minors. In the majors he could earn $925,000 for games: $50,000 apiece for 22 and each additional two through 30; $75,000 apiece for 34 and each additional two through 40; and $125,000 each for 55, 60 and 66.