SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Everett Teaford is embarking on his ninth season in the Royals' organization and, as usual, he faces a big challenge to make the Major League roster.
Teaford was a frequent contributor in 2011 and '12, pitching in a total of 44 games. But last year? Just one game with the Royals as he spent virtually the entire season with Omaha as the Storm Chasers won the Triple-A championship.
There was another professional setback this winter when the Royals designated Teaford for assignment. As expected, after he cleared waivers, the Royals re-signed him to a Minor League contract.
"They made it clear that they wanted me back and it was a process a lot of people go through, and they make it back to the big leagues, so I don't think it's the end of the world," he said.
Teaford, 29, in his 45 big league games has a 3-5 record and a 4.25 ERA.
"I think I've obviously proven I can pitch at the Triple-A level and at the Major League level as well, and I can start and I can relieve," he said. "So, I feel I provide a pretty decent safely net that's not on the roster."
Although he's started 119 games in the Minors, he's seldom mentioned as a candidate for the open fifth spot in the Kansas City rotation.
"I'm kind of like the independent candidate in an election. I'm going to get the one or two percent -- maybe," Teaford said. "Maybe I'll just have to come up with a crazy policy that'll get some votes."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.