The Royals may be jumping into free agency in the next few weeks. Former Cardinals pitcher Jason Isringhausen told KFNS 590 AM in St. Louis that the Royals were among a number of teams expressing interest in him. Other interested teams include Cardinals, Yankees and Rays as well as the Reds. He's throwing for the Reds on Tuesday.
Isringhausen, 37, could be an interesting possibility. He definitely falls under the high risk, high reward category. He's older and is coming off of Tommy John surgery a year ago so that's a major concern. However, he's been throwing from the mound a few times a week and relief pitchers generally come back sooner than the 12-18 month diagnosis generally given to those coming off that type of surgery.
He said he would needs a few weeks in the minor leagues before being ready.
"Am I throwing mid-90s?" he said. "Not right now, no. I don’t know (how fast I can throw). I haven’t been on a (radar) gun yet, but I’ll find out soon enough. I could be throwing 85. I don’t know.
"But all my breaking pitches are there. I’ve been working on a changeup so that’s there. I’m a smarter pitcher. That’s the way I look at it. I might not be throwing throw 96-97 again, but I’ll still get people out.
This is total speculation but perhaps the Royals are seeing where Isringhausen is at because they may be trading away one of their relievers. It's very possible, maybe even likely, that they're practicing due diligence for a situation just like that.
It sounds like they'd get a motivated Isringhausen because he wants to set himself up to play somewhere next year.
It'll be interesting to see how the Royals react to Isringhausen if they trade someone away on or before July 31, the MLB trade deadline.