Royals keep Gee by putting him on 40-man roster

Right-hander had opt-out clause, but will likely earn bullpen spot

Royals keep Gee by putting him on 40-man roster

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As expected, right-hander Dillon Gee exercised the opt-out clause in his contract, but the Royals subsequently put him on the 40-man roster on Tuesday, thus blocking the move.

To make room, the Royals moved left-hander Mike Minor to the 60-day disabled list. Minor is recovering from labrum surgery and likely won't be available to the big league club until mid-June or July.

The move to put Gee on the 40-man was expected, and it needed to be done by midnight ET on Tuesday, otherwise Gee could have left and become a free agent. He is a candidate for a bullpen spot on Kansas City's 25-man roster.

Gee, who was the Mets' Opening Day starter in 2014, has impressed the Royals' coaching staff with his bullpen sessions and in Spring Training games (1.80 ERA).

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Gee said on Monday that he trusted that the Royals would do the right thing.

"One of the main reasons I signed here is the great reputation this organization has in how they treat people," he said. "They've been tremendous. But as far as [the opt-out] goes, that's just something I leave up to my agent."

Gee, 29, signed a Minor League contract with Kansas City in the offseason. If he makes the 25-man roster, his base salary would be $2 million. Gee also can earn up to $3.3 million in bonuses for games started and $700,000 for relief appearances.

Gee's best season was in 2013, when he went 12-11 with a 3.62 ERA.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.