Royals add a pair of minor league free agents

The Royals have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Josh Rupe and outfielder Buck Coats to minor league contracts for the 2010 season.

The 27-year old Rupe has made 70 career appearances (1 start) since breaking into the big leagues with the Texas Rangers in 2005.  The 6-foot-2, 210-pound hurler is 4-2 with a 4.95 ERA, tossing 132.2 innings.  He made just four appearances in the Majors in 2009 while spending a majority of the year at Oklahoma (AAA).  Originally a third-round pick of the Chicago White Sox in the 2002 Draft, Rupe tied for the Majors League lead in 2008 with 89.1 relief innings for Texas.  He and his wife, April, have a son, Tucker, and reside in Virginia Beach, Va.

Coats, 27, spent all of 2009 with Triple-A Las Vegas in the Toronto organization.  Coats also served as the primary leadoff man and centerfielder in Team USA’s run to the gold medal in the Baseball World Cup in September.  The left-handed hitting and right-handed throwing outfielder batted .302 with 33 doubles, three triples, six homers, 56 RBI and 82 runs scored in 117 games with Las Vegas this season.  He stole 25 bases in 32 attempts and drew 47 walks against just 64 strikeouts.  The Georgia native has appeared in 46 career Major League games with the Cubs (2006), Reds (2007) and Blue Jays (2008), hitting .193 (11-for-57).  Coats, the Cubs’ 20th-round pick in 2000, is married with one child.

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