Right-hander Juan Cruz, a free-agent reliever, was signed by the Royals on Saturday.
Cruz signed a two-year contract with an option for 2011. The deal was believed to be worth $2.25 million for this year, $3.25 million for 2010 and a club option for $4 million for 2011 with a $500,000 buyout.
To make room for Cruz on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated infielder Esteban German for assignment.
Cruz, 30, last season had a 4-0 record with a 2.61 ERA in 57 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He led all National League relievers with 12.37 strikeouts per nine innings, based on his 71 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings.
“He’s a power pitcher, he’s a great competitor,” said Royals general manager Dayton Moore. “I think only Brad Lidge had more swings-and-misses last year. He was very effective against left-handers and very effective against right-handers and is someone who gives us a lot of power and aggressiveness. He’s been very successful the last two years.”
Cruz was under consideration by the Royals during the Winter Meetings when they signed relievers Kyle Farnsworth and Doug Waechter. Cruz was among several free agents left unsigned as Spring Training games got under way.
Cruz will help fill the bullpen gap created by John Bale’s absence because of thyroid surgery which is scheduled for Tuesday in Kansas City.
In eight Major League seasons, Cruz had a 29-31 record with a 4.00 ERA in 297 games.
German batted .245 in 89 games for the Royals last season, his third with the club.
— Dick Kaegel