The KC Royals dealt 26-year-old pitcher Brooks Pounders to the Los Angeles Angels in return for minor-league hurler Jared Ruxner on Thursday night.
Brooks Pounders made his debut with the Kansas City Royals in 2016, but only notched a 9.24 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched working out of the bullpen. However, Pounders did whiff an encouraging 9.2 batters per nine along with a solid 2.1 BB/9. The six home runs he surrendered in a mere 12.2 innings is what drove his poor ERA.
Though he was a reliever with Kansas City, Pounders started seven games for Omaha and posted an excellent 3.14 ERA in 80.1 innings in AAA. Pounders missed bats with a 10.1 K/9 in the Pacific Coast League last season. But, young arms like Matt Strahm, Josh Staumont, Eric Stout, and Eric Skoglund surpassed him within the KC Royals system.
In return, the Kansas City Royals add 24-year-old Jared Ruxner. Ruxner went 4-8 with a 3.08 ERA at A Burlington and A+ Inland Empire. Ruxner dominated at Burlington with a 1.44 ERA. However, he struggled at A+ in 11 starts with a 5.15 ERA.
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However, part of Ruxner’s appeal is that the Royals don’t need to put him on the 40-man roster to retain his rights. Had they kept Pounders, Kansas City needed to keep him on the 40-man or expose him to the upcoming Rule 5 draft. With the trade, the KC Royals now have an open spot to select a draft-eligible player from another organization.
The Pounders for Ruxer deal is unlikely to prove significant in 2017, unless the KC Royals come up with a Rule 5 gem in the December 8 draft. Such a player would need to stay on the major-league roster all season or else the Royals would have to offer him back to the team they drafted him from for $25,000. Ruxer looks like a player that might benefit Kansas City in the future. However, Pounders can probably contest for a roster spot on the Angels this season.