Righthanded reliever Juan Cruz signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Royals, the club announced. There's also a team option in Year 3 for $4.5 million, with a $500,000 buyout.
As a reliever who earned Type A status, Cruz's free agency turned into something of a controversy, and he engendered enough sympathy for MLB to approve the sign-and-trade option to circumvent the issue of a signing team having to surrender a first-round draft choice. But after a long wait, Cruz got his deal the old-fashioned way, by signing with the Royals.
The Diamondbacks, Cruz's former team, will get the No. 1 draft choice attached to Type A free agents. The Royals, meanwhile, have substantially improved their bullpen.
The 30-year-old Cruz made his debut with the Chicago Cubs in 2001. He has also pitched for the Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics, compiling a 29-31 record with a 4.00 ERA in 297 outings, including 38 starts.
To make room for Cruz on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated for assignment utility player Esteban German, who hit .245 in 89 games last season.