Royals sign Anthony Lerew

The Royals on Wednesday announced the club has signed pitcher Anthony Lerew to a minor league contract, with an invitation to major league camp. Lerew was once regarded as one of the best prospects in the Atlanta Braves' system, but his career was derailed by an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery in 2007.

Lerew appeared in just 14 games last season between the GCL Braves and Triple-A Richmond, compiling a combined 1-5 record with a 4.44 ERA and 30 strikeouts. He was in big league camp with the Braves this spring, but was released on March 10.

Lerew's best season was 2005, when he went 10-6 with a 3.71 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A before being promoted to Atlanta to make his big league debut. Lerew has spent parts of three seasons in the major leagues, compiling a career record of 0-2 with a 8.31 ERA in 21.2 innings pitched.

The 26-year-old right-hander isn't likely to win a spot on the Kansas City staff this spring, so he will probably break camp with the Omaha Royals, where he will continue his comeback. The Royals are clearly familiar with Lerew, who was originally signed by Royals Assistant GM of Scouting and Player Development J.J. Picollo, back when Picollo was a scout for the Braves.

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