Report: Royals sign ex-Braves pitcher Medlen to 2-year deal

BY foxsports • December 18, 2014

ATLANTA -- What a difference a year makes.

This time last winter, the Atlanta Braves and Kris Medlen were seemingly on the path to a contract extension, as a means of rewarding one of the true pillars of Atlanta's starting rotation.

But a major elbow injury during Spring Training (the second of the right-hander's career) and subsequent contract non-tendering (in December) has led to this:

On Wednesday, the 29-year-old Medlen reportedly signed a two-year deal with the Kansas City Royals, the reigning American League champs.

If fully healthy, Medlen (career marks: 34-20, 2.95 ERA, 434/121 K-BB) might have been an automatic fixture of the Braves' prospective rotation for 2015. Instead, he'll venture out to a new franchise, new stadiums ... and different style of play in the American League.

According to FOX Sports baseball insider Ken Rosenthal, Medlen's contract with Kansas City (GM Dayton Moore is a former Braves executive) includes $8.5 million in guaranteed money and a mutual option for 2016.

From May 2 to Sept. 27 in 2013, spanning 26 starts and one relief appearance (extra-inning game on Aug. 17), Medlen was superb, allowing three or less runs 22 times -- including his final 10 outings.

In that 10-game finish, Medlen also fanned six-plus hitters six times.

The above numbers also ran complementary to Medlen's surreal 2012 season, going 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 157/47 K-BB rate -- over just 20 starts and 138 total innings.

In fact, for the July-September periods of 2012 and '13, Medlen notched excellent cumulative tallies of a 19-5 record, 2.04 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 178/35 K-BB rate.

With Medlen gone, the Braves will most likely expand their search for a No. 5 starter. The top of the rotation appears to be set, with Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Shelby Miller (part of the Jason Heyward trade) and Mike Minor holding court with the first four slots.

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