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Archive for Monday, February 23, 2004

Royals add veteran pitcher Swindell

Left-hander signs minor-league contract

February 23, 2004

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— Kansas City on Sunday signed left-hander Greg Swindell to a minor-league contract and invited him to spring training.

Swindell, who will be a non-roster invitee at the Royals' spring training, has a 113-122 career record with a 3.86 earned run average. He did not pitch in the majors last season, but in 2002 he was 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA in 34 relief appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"His agent (Alan Hendricks) called me and asked if we would be interested," Kansas City general manager Allard Baird said. "I said, 'We always have interest in left-handers.'"

Baird sent scout Brian Murphy to look at Swindell in a workout in Texas, and his reports were good.

"This is hit and miss for us and hit and miss for Greg," Baird said. "There are no guarantees. It is being creative at this point. It is very low risk for the ball club."

If Swindell were to make the team, he would earn the minimum $300,000 salary.

The Diamondbacks had Swindell experiment with a knuckleball in spring training last year, but that has been shelved. Baird said Swindell's fastball velocity picked up during his year off.

Royals manager Tony Pena, who was a teammate of Swindell's in Cleveland in 1996, said he would like to have a left-hander in the bullpen.

"You have to like it (signing Swindell)," Pena said. "It's an area where we are trying to get some help."

If Jeremy Affeldt were to return to the rotation, the Royals would have a spot for a left-hander reliever.

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