Verdugo, 24, was acquired from the San Francisco Giants with left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez on November 7 in exchange for outfielder Melky Cabrera. He was 8-6 with a 4.35 ERA in 25 starts for Double-A Richmond in 2011, his first season as a starter in the minor leagues. The 6-foot, 193-pounder is 21-7 with a 3.14 ERA in 101 career minor league appearances, including 26 starts. Verdugo, a resident of Baton Rouge, La., has allowed 185 hits in his 234.1 career innings, striking out 300. The Giants’ ninth-round pick in 2008 was a teammate of current Royals reliever Louis Coleman when the two played at Louisiana State University.