Other than Bruce Chen, the Kansas City Royals have yet to make a splash into free agency at the major league level, but that hasn't stopped the organization from adding depth and they did so by signing two left-handed pitchers over the weekend in Marlon Arias and Tommy Hottovy. The moves were first reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
Arias is a 6'3" 27-year old originally from the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, where he signed as a free agent in 2003. He was with the Dodgers through 2009, working his way up to AAA Albuquerque before going abroad o pitch. His career mark in the minors is 31-19 with a 5.19 ERA. In 100 career games, he started 75 of them. His career WHIP is 1.50 to go along with the high ERA, thought his 2.23 strikeout-to-walk ratio shows flashes of ability.
The other signee is is 30-year old Kansas City native Tommy Hottovy. Hottovy pitched collegiality for the Wichita State Shockers. He was a fourth round draft choice of the Boston Red Sox in 2004. Hottovy would work his way up through the Red Sox organization before eventually making his major league debut on June 3rd of this past season.
In 2011 he appeared in eight games out of the bullpen for the Red Sox and had a 6.75 ERA in four innings pitched. He allowed three runs on four hits, while also walking three and striking out two. It should be noted that in six of his eight appearances he didn't allow a hit.
Over the course of eight minor league seasons Hottovy is 24-38 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 187 games. 90 of those were starts. In AAA last season Hottovy was 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in 24 games. He struck out 29 while walking just nine.
Hottovy is obviously closer to the major leagues and certainly will be added value to the Omaha bullpen with the outside chance of cracking the roster in Kansas City at some point in the summer. One thing Kansas City can't do next season is rely so heavily on left-handed reliever Tim Collins. Hottovy may have been signed as someone the club envisions as having the ability to assist Collins should his workload become too much.