KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: 3 Tampa Bay pitchers

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KC Royals
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Tampa Bay has a righthanded reliever the KC Royals might be able to use.

Righthander Matt Wisler spent most of his first four major league seasons with Atlanta, where his transition from rotation to bullpen turned him into the reliever he remains today.

Wisler, 30 and a veteran of eight big league years, still starts occasionally but he’s primarily a bullpen piece, and a good one for Tampa Bay in 2021 and 2022.

The Rays acquired him in a June 2021 trade with San Francisco, where he’d been knocked around for 13 runs in 19.1 innings. But his 2.15 ERA in 27 relief appearances for the Rays tended to prove the wisdom of the deal, and he erased any lingering doubts about it with his 3-3, 2.25 record last season.

Wisler also opened five games; although he didn’t earn any decisions, he struck out six and gave up just two runs in 7.2 innings.

He’ll enter the 2023 campaign with a 25-36, 4.59 234-game career record, including 16-23 as a starter and 9-13 out of the bullpen. His 4.68 ERA as a reliever needs improvement, but Wisler’s two years in the Rays’ pen strongly suggest he’s making it.

Kansas City’s bullpen needs almost as much help as it’s rotation. Perhaps Picollo should give Wisler some thought.