KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Chris Young, Kansas City’s winning pitcher in the 2015 World Series opener, has been designated for assignment.
His roster spot was filled by reliever Neftali Feliz, who agreed to a one-year contract with the Royals on Friday, four days after he was released by Milwaukee.
Young had a 7.50 ERA in two starts and 12 relief appearances allowing 47 hits, including seven home runs and 18 walks in 30 innings. He went 3-9 with a 6.19 ERA last year.
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”It was very difficult,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said of the decision. ”It was hard, but it was the right thing to do. If you get a chance to shuffle the deck a little bit and upgrade in an area we think we can with Neftali, you move forward and execute that type of deal because it potentially makes everybody better and that’s what you do. It kind of ran its course a little bit and it’s time to move forward.
”CY, in my mind, was perhaps the MVP of our pitching staff in 2015. He did everything for us. He was one of the pillars of our team. He’ll be missed.”
Young, a 38-year-old right-hander, was 1-0 with a 2.87 ERA in four games in the 2015 postseason, including three scoreless innings in the opener against the New York Mets. He is guaranteed a $5.75 million salary this year as part of an $11.5 million, two-year contract.
”He played a big part in helping us win a championship,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”He was a major influence in the locker room and he had the heart of a gladiator when it came to competing. It’s tough when these things happen, but they happen.”
Feliz had eight saves in nine chances for the Brewers before losing the closer’s job and went 1-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 29 appearances. The 29-year-old was the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year with Texas and is 20-19 with 107 saves and a 3.43 ERA in 337 major league games.
He was guaranteed $5.35 million in his deal with the Brewers, and the Royals will pay $292,350 – a prorated share of the $535,000 minimum – with Milwaukee responsible for the rest.
”He’s still a guy that has a 97 mile per hour fastball,” Yost said. ”His numbers were not like horrible in Milwaukee. It’s a flyer. It’s not a risk, a low-risk, high-reward type of thing.”