Royals reach two-year deal with left-handed pitcher Mike Minor

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Royals agreed to a $7.25 million, two-year contract with Mike Minor, adding another left-hander to what is becoming a crowded competition for two spots in their starting rotation.

The 28-year-old, a former first-round pick of the Atlanta Braves, will earn $2 million this season and $4 million next season as part of the deal announced Friday. The deal includes a $10 million mutual option for 2018 with a $1.25 million buyout.

Minor became a free agent in December when the Braves failed to offer a 2016 contract. He spent the first five seasons of his career with Atlanta, going 38-36 with a 4.10 ERA while averaging 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

Minor is competing with Chris Young, Kris Medlen, Danny Duffy and Dillon Gee for starting spots behind Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura and Ian Kennedy.

Kansas City placed left-hander Jason Vargas on the 60-day disabled list to open a roster spot. Vargas is recovering from Tommy John surgery late last season.