The KC Royals were not done adding free agents on Friday, signing veteran starter Michael Wacha to a two-year deal worth $32 million. FanSided's Robert Murray first reported the move, with ESPN's Jeff Passan providing the financial details. Wacha's second year is a player option, much like Seth Lugo's and Hunter Renfroe's deals.
MLB.com's Anne Rogers added that Wacha can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses each season.
Former rival Michael Wacha is joining the KC Royals.
This is the second quality pitcher pickup for the Royals this week, solidifying the 2024 rotation. Wacha has pitched for four different teams the past four seasons but bounced back with the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres. He has made 47 starts since 2022, with a 3.27 ERA and 1.139 WHIP. Boston and San Diego were not elite teams, but he still had a 25-6 record.
Wacha has become a more versatile veteran in recent years, throwing five different pitches at least 11% in 2023. He is still primarily a fly ball pitcher, going against the normal grounball-first approach in Kauffman Stadium How his pitch mix and adjustments in Kansas City will be an interesting story to watch.
Wacha also has a concerning injury history. Five of his nine career IL trips are linked to shoulder problems. He missed six weeks in 2023 with more shoulder issues but did not miss a beat following his return.
Wacha's addition likely ends the Marcus Stroman to Kansas City dreams fans have been wanting on social media. Still, this move undoubtedly raises the rotation's floor heading into 2024.
The move is the latest in a busy two weeks for the Royals. Kansas City's free-agency contracts now total $105 million, going against the bargain-bin approach of previous offseasons. Most of that money is going to the 2024 payroll, with $47 million added.