Royals sign Sanders for two years, Mays for one

Updated: December 23, 2005, 10:01 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Reggie Sanders and the Kansas City Royals finalized a $10 million, two-year contract Friday night, bringing the outfielder to the American League for the first time in a major-league career that began in 1991.

Reggie Sanders
Sanders
Joe Mays
Mays

Making yet another move after finishing a major league-worst 56-106 last season, the Royals also agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with pitcher Joe Mays, a deal that allows the right-hander to make an additional $1 million in performance bonuses based on starts.

The 38-year-old Sanders hit .271 with 21 homers and 54 RBI last season with St. Louis. He broke his right leg in an outfield collision with Jim Edmonds on July 15 but hit .305 with 10 homers and 29 RBI in 40 games after returning to the lineup in September and had 10 RBI in the three-game sweep of San Diego in the first round of the playoffs.

He has a career average of .267, with 271 homers and 869 RBI.

"We're asking for dependable production because of his history," general manager Allard Baird said Friday night, "but we're also asking for his leadership as a person within the clubhouse. He fits in well with our club, and we're hoping he'll have a huge influence."

The 30-year-old Mays, who has been with the Twins since breaking into the majors in 1999, was 6-10 with a 5.65 ERA last year after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2003.

His best year was 2001, when he went 17-13 -- his only winning record in the majors -- and was named to the AL All-Star team.

"With a guy coming off Tommy John surgery, it's usually the second year those guys come around," Baird said. "We like our defense, especially our infield defense, and its potential to be a good fit with a sinkerball pitcher."

Kansas City previously reached agreements with free-agent infielders Mark Grudzielanek and Doug Mientkiewicz, pitcher Scott Elarton and backup catcher Paul Bako.

"If something presents itself, we'll surely take a look at it," Baird said. "But as of right now, we think we've addressed our needs as we head into the offseason."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE