Not content to just collect fifth outfielders, it appears as though Dayton Moore has decided to add yet another obsession to his list of interests – old pitchers who have not appeared in the majors in over a year.
After the first two attempts with that type of pitcher failed, since Guillermo Mota retired and Brad Penny was released, Moore has gone back to the well once again. This time, Moore has signed 40 year old Brett Tomko to a minor league contract.
If Tomko sounds familiar, he should. Back in 2008, Tomko was a member of the Royals starting rotation, where he put together a less than stellar 2-7 record with a 6.97 ERA in 16 games, ten of which were starts, before being released. After that, Tomko resurrected his career as a relief option, performing relatively well in that role. However, Tomko has not appeared in the majors since 2011 with the Texas Rangers, and spent last season pitching for the York Revolution of the Atlantic League.
On that minor league contract, Brett Tomko is another no risk signing. Since he has also stated his willingness to go to the minors and does not have an opt-out clause, Tomko could serve a valuable role as a mentor for the young arms in Omaha, working as another coach in the bullpen.
Reportedly clocked as high as 93 MPH in a bullpen session yesterday, Tomko could wind up as solid insurance should a spate of injuries hit the bullpen. Depending on how he performs in AAA, should he last through Spring Training, Tomko could end up being a solid veteran presence for the Royals.
Perhaps, out of the collection of ancient pitchers, Brett Tomko ends up being the one that works out. If nothing else, it certainly does not hurt to give him a chance.