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Royals trade away two relievers

The SportsXchange

In separate deals Thursday, the Kansas City Royals traded two relievers who spent most of last season in their farm system.

Right-hander Jeremy Jeffress went to the Toronto Blue Jays in a cash transaction, while left-hander Tommy Hottovy went to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named and cash. Both pitchers were designated for assignment Nov. 2, removing them from the Royals' 40-man roster.

Jeffress was one of four players the Royals acquired from the Brewers in the 2010 trade that sent Zack Greinke to the Brewers. While Jeffress' fastball has been clocked at triple digits, command has been an issue. In parts of two seasons with the Royals, Jeffress went 1-1 with a 5.65 ERA in 27 relief appearances. He walked 24 and struck out 26 in 28 2/3 innings.

Jeffress, 25, had a 6.75 ERA last season with 13 walks and 13 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. He made 37 relief appearances for Triple-A Omaha, going 5-4 with two saves and a 4.97 ERA.

"It might be a good change, but I loved being around all the young guys on that (Royals) team. It was very exciting," Jeffress told MLB.com.

Hottovy, 31, is a Kansas City native who went to high school locally and attended Wichita State. He made nine relief appearances and compiled a 2.89 ERA with Kansas City this year. In 41 games with Omaha, Hottovy went 2-2 with seven saves and a 2.52 ERA, holding opposing hitters to a .221 batting average.

"I love the Royals' organization," Hottovy told the Kansas City Star. "I grew up here. It was just such an honor to be part of this organization. I just love the city. It's disappointing to be leaving that. But when one door closes, another one opens. I just look at this as an opportunity."

Hottovy first reached the majors with the Boston Red Sox in 2011, three years after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He allowed three runs in four innings for Boston before joining the Royals as a free agent last winter.
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