Ryan Freel’s brief stay with the Royals ended Wednesday afternoon when he was designated for assignment to clear roster space for the return of pitcher Kyle Davies from Class AAA Omaha.
Davies reclaimed a spot in the rotation Wednesday night when he started against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium.
Freel, 33, batted .244 in 18 games for the Royals in a utility role following his July 6 acquisition from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later. He began the season with Baltimore before a May 8 trade sent him to the Cubs for former Royals outfielder Joey Gathright.
Davies, 25, opened the season in the rotation but lost his job June 20 after going 3-7 with a 5.76 ERA in 14 starts. He was 4-2 with a 2.14 ERA in an eight-start refresher course at Omaha.
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Freel became expendable once the Royals obtained outfielder Josh Anderson in a cash transaction last Thursday from the Tigers. Anderson’s arrival was delayed until Wednesday while he attended the birth of his first child in Kentucky.
The Royals now have 10 days to reach a resolution on Freel, an eight-year veteran with five clubs. He is likely to be sent through waivers, but he also could be traded or released.
Freel has a .268 career average with 22 homers and 122 RBIs in 594 games. He reached the big leagues in 2001 with Toronto before spending the next six seasons with Cincinnati.