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Royals seeking two-year deal with Sanders

12/22/2005

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals' quest for a
corner outfielder may be nearing an end, with the team trying to
reach an agreement with Reggie Sanders on a two-year contract worth
about $10 million.

"We're trying to work toward that," Royals general manager
Allard Baird said Thursday night.

The 38-year-old Sanders could provide some much-needed offense
to go along with what appears to be an improved Kansas City
defense. He hit .271 with 21 home runs and 54 RBI in 295 at-bats
last season for St. Louis, missing nearly two months after breaking
his right leg in an outfield collision with Jim Edmonds.

Sanders had 10 RBI in the Cardinals' three-game sweep of San
Diego in the first round of the playoffs, hitting a grand slam and
driving in six runs in the opener.

Asked if he was close to a deal, Baird would only say: "I just
don't believe in 'close' until it's done. Believe me, if we had it
done, I would announce it."

Kansas City lacked production from its corner outfielders last
season, when the Royals finished a major league-worst 56-106.

"I think he would be a pretty good addition to our club,"
Baird said. "But until everything is set, I just don't want to
speculate."

Baird said he had also been talking to different teams about
pitchers.

"There are a couple of guys we think may have some upside. But
that's it," he said. "I spoke to a couple of clubs tonight as far
as trades, and nothing came of that."

Sanders broke in with Cincinnati in 1991 and since 1998 has
played for Cincinnati, San Diego, Atlanta, Arizona, San Francisco,
Pittsburgh and the Cardinals. A career .267 hitter with 292 home
runs and 923 RBI, he is projected as a right fielder by the
Royals.

It has already been a busy offseason for Baird, who has signed
free agent infielders Mark Grudzielanek and Doug Mientkiewicz,
pitcher Scott Elarton and backup catcher Paul Bako.