Royals, Meche agree to five-year deal

Updated: December 8, 2006, 1:02 AM ET
Associated Press

Gil Meche

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Kansas City Royals agreed to terms with right-hander Gil Meche on a five-year deal worth about $55 million on Thursday as baseball's winter meetings neared a conclusion.

Meche has a 55-44 career record with a 4.65 earned-run average in 147 games, all of them with the Seattle Mariners.

"We were proud to be a part of the process and delighted that Gil Meche made the decision to join the Royals," 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 was 11-8 with a 4.48 ERA and career highs of 186 2/3 innings and 156 strikeouts in 32 starts for Seattle in 2006.

Meche must pass a physical for the deal to be completed.

In another move, the Royals released pitcher Runelvys Hernandez, who struggled with conditioning and inconsistency. The right-hander was 6-10 with a 6.48 ERA in 21 starts this year.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press