Royals bolster bullpen with veteran depth

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Kansas City added a pair of veteran relief pitchers on Tuesday to bolster its bullpen heading into 2013.

Hoping to make a serious push for an American League Central title in 2013, the Kansas City Royals agreed to terms with both George Sherrill and Dan Wheeler on Tuesday according to a report by Dick Kaegel of MLB.com.

Both the left-handed Sherrill and the right-handed Wheeler each signed Minor League deals, and could each play a situational role for the big league club if they are able to impress in Spring Training.

"We're just looking for some veteran guys that can help if needed," said Royals director of player development Scott Sharp. "They can help the younger guys, just how to handle themselves in the clubhouse with their professionalism."

The 35-year-old Wheeler posted a woeful 8.76 earned-run average over a 12-game stint with the Cleveland Indians last season, but has pitched a total of 640 innings in the majors with an impressive 3.98 ERA to his credit. Not even six years removed from a season where he saved 13 games and recorded 26 holds for the Tampa Bay Rays, Wheeler brings an above average strikeout rate and a steady presence from the right side of the mound.

Also 35 years old, Sherrill will now be playing for his fifth organization in the last five years if he can hang on to make Kansas City's opening day roster. More likely than Wheeler to find a niche on the roster due to his ability baffle left-handed batters, Sherrill has fanned 320 major-league hitters over 324.1 career innings.

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