KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have signed free agent right-handed pitcher Gil Meche to a five-year contract. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Meche, 28, has spent his entire career in the Seattle Mariners organization compiling a 55-44 record with a 4.65 ERA in 147 games (143 starts). He has logged 815.1 innings in the Majors allowing 810 hits, 453 runs, 421 earned runs, 109 home runs, 363 walks and 575 strikeouts.
"We were proud to be a part of the process and delighted that Gil Meche made the decision to join the Royals," Royals Senior Vice President-Baseball Operations/General Manager Dayton Moore said. "He is an impact pitching talent who fits in with our plan for long term success. At 28, he is entering the prime of his career."
Meche, 6-3, 220, posted an 11-8 record with a 4.48 ERA in 32 starts for Seattle in 2006. He pitched 186.2 innings allowing 183 hits, 106 runs, 93 earned runs, 24 home runs, 84 walks and 156 strikeouts. His innings pitched and strikeouts were both career highs. He also tied his career-high with 32 starts. The 2006 season marked his second consecutive season with 10 or more wins (he was 10-8 with a 5.09 ERA in 2005). Meche was originally selected by the Mariners in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1996 June Free Agent Draft. He made his Major League debut on July 6, 1999 at Anaheim. He was not involved in the decision (5.2 IP, 2 ER). His first win came in his next start vs. Arizona on July 19, 7-5 (7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER). He finished the
1999 campaign with an 8-4 record and a 4.73 ERA.
Meche missed the entire 2001 season with a partially frayed right rotator cuff. He pitched at San Antonio (AA) for the entire 2002 season and returned to the Majors in 2003 where he posted a career-best 15 wins and was named the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year.
Meche and his wife Robin, reside in Scott, La. with their children, Landon and Ella.
The deal with Meche is contingent on passing a team physical. The Royals will announce a roster move to make room on the 40-man roster for Meche at a later date.