Sidney Ponson, who pitched for the amazing Netherlands team in the World Baseball Classic, was signed Tuesday by the Royals to a Minor League contract.
Ponson was invited to the Major League camp and will report on Wednesday.
“He’s going to get an opportunity,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “Our depth is not what we wish it was.”
Presumably Ponson could make a bid for the Royals’ starting rotation, pitch in relief or go to the Triple-A club at Omaha. Moore said Ponson indicated he’d be willing to play at the Triple-A level.
Ponson, 32, made two starts in the Classic for the Netherlands, which twice stunned the Dominican Republic. He was the winner in the first victory over the Dominicans, 3-2, when he started and went four innings, giving up two runs in four innings. In his other start, he lost 3-1 to Venezuela, giving up two runs in five innings.
“We scouted him in the WBC and our scouts were very, very persistent in their recommendations,” Moore said.
“They just liked the way he pitched and the way he competed. The results, obviously, were very good. He pitched and performed very well and our scouts were strongly recommending that we bring him in as somebody that gives us needed depth.”
The Royals seem set with Gil Meche, Zack Greinke and Kyle Davies in the rotation with Luke Hochevar, Brian Bannister and Horacio Ramirez competing for the other two spots.
Now Ponson might enter that picture.
Although terms were not disclosed, Moore said there’s no big contract or guaranteed money involved.
“It’s a Minor League contract, it’s very low risk,” Moore said