Royals lose Fulchino on waivers to Astros

LAS VEGAS | The Royals, instead of adding a reliever, opened the winter meetings Monday by losing one to Houston.

The Astros claimed right-hander Jeff Fulchino on waivers.

Fulchino, 29, was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA last season in 12 games for the Royals after signing Feb. 7 as a minor-league free agent. He spent much of the season in the minors and was 3-4 with a 4.87 ERA in 27 games at Class AAA Omaha and Class AA Northwest Arkansas.

The move comes as the Royals seek to bolster their bullpen after trading away setup relievers Leo Nuñez and Ramon Ramirez. It also leaves the club with 38 players on its 40-man organizational roster.