By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer August 6, 2003 Kevin Appier will return to Kansas City, just a week after the former Royals ace was released by the Anaheim Angels, The Associated Press has learned.
Appier was set to sign a deal with the AL Central-leading Royals on Wednesday, a source familiar with the negotiations said on the condition of anonymity.
The Angels released Appier last Wednesday, even though they still owed him more than $15.6 million. The Royals will pay less than $100,000 for Appier this year, and Anaheim is responsible for his $12 million salary next year.
The 35-year-old Appier pitched for the Royals from 1989-99 but never reached postseason play. He made the playoffs with Oakland in 2000 and won a World Series ring with the Angels last October.
Appier went 14-12 with a 3.92 ERA for Anaheim last season. But he struggled to a 7-7 record with a 5.63 ERA in 19 starts this year while pitching with a sore elbow and a strained right forearm that put him on the disabled list.
In his last outing, Appier threw 43 pitches and didn't make it out of the first inning against the New York Yankees. He gave up four runs and five hits while getting only two outs.
The next day, July 30, the Angels placed him on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.
``It's really not a fun day in your life when you're told that you no longer have a job playing baseball,'' Angels general manager Bill Stoneman said at the time. ``But it does happen to every player, and it happened today with Kevin.''
Appier has pitched in pain this season with his bad elbow, but never used it as an excuse. An MRI exam requested this week by the Royals showed no significant improvement.
After watching him work out last weekend at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City hopes he's well enough to contribute. With several contenders looking to add pitching, the Royals pursued Appier from the moment he became available.
The Royals lead the White Sox by two games in the AL Central, and the teams play Wednesday at Chicago. Appier is expected to start for Kansas City this weekend at Tampa Bay.
Last weekend, Kansas City put pitcher Jose Lima on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained groin. Lima is 7-0 since being signed from the independent Atlantic League.
Appier was the ninth overall pick by the Royals in the 1987 amateur draft and soon became a mainstay in their rotation.
He is 168-134 lifetime with a 3.72 ERA. He was 114-89 for the Royals and was considered among baseball's most durable starters for most of the 1990s.
Appier's best season was 1993, when he went 18-8 with an AL-leading 2.56 ERA and finished third in voting for the Cy Young Award.
The Royals traded Appier to Oakland in the middle of the 1999 season. He signed as a free agent to pitch for the New York Mets in 2001, then was traded after the season to the Angels for first baseman Mo Vaughn.
Just found this. Thought I'd pass it along.
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