December 2011

Royals sign left-handed reliever Jose Mijares to a one-year contract

 The Royals announced today that the club has signed left-handed relief pitcher Jose Mijares to a one-year Major League contract for 2012.  Consistent with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.  With the signing of the Mijares, the Royals’ 40-man roster stands at 40.

“We expect Jose to be a solid addition from the left side that further strengthens our bullpen,” Royals GM Dayton Moore said.  “He has been especially good against left-handed hitters in his career and will give Ned more options to match up late in the game.”

The 27-year-old Mijares (me-HAH-ress) has posted a 3-6 record with a 3.16 ERA in 186 relief appearances for the Minnesota Twins since making his debut in 2008.  Last season, the 6-foot, 230-pounder went 0-2 with a 4.59 ERA in 58 contests, all in relief.  In his career, Mijares has held left-handed batters to a .212 average, allowing just five home runs in 287 plate appearances.  Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Mijares is currently 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA (0 BB, 7 SO) in eight relief outings for Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League.


Betancourt to fill utility role



Yuniesky Betancourt rounds the bases after hitting a home run on Opening Day, 2010, vs. the Tigers.


The Royals brought back a familiar face on Tuesday as the club signed Yuniesky Betancourt to a one-year contract.  It was a year and a day ago that Betancourt was traded to Milwaukee as part of a six-player deal.  The veteran spent 2011 as Milwaukee’s starting shortstop, batting .252 with 13 home runs and 68 RBI.  He also hit .310 (13-for-42) in the playoffs for the N.L. Central champs. 

Yuni will fill a utility role in KC, which includes backing up shortstop Alcides Escobar, one of the players acquired in that trade last December.  All but 63 of Betancourt’s 8,288.1 Major League innings on defense have come at shortstop.  However, General Manager Dayton Moore noted that Manager Ned Yost expects Escobar to play 150 or more games a year at shortstop.  Therefore, expect Betancourt to compete for time at second base and fill in at third base on occasion for left-handed hitting Mike Moustakas

Moore noted that four or five clubs were looking at Betancourt in a similar utility role.  There was a mutual comfort level between the Royals and Betancourt.  KC’s coaches see him as a positive player in the clubhouse.  Betancourt has familiarity with Royals staff members, including third base and infield coach Eddie Rodriguez, who like Betancourt was born in Cuba.

Royals sign utility infielder Yuniesky Betancourt to a one-year contract

The Royals announced today that the club has signed utility infielder Yuniesky Betancourt to a one-year Major League contract for 2012.  Consistent with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.  With the signing, the Royals’ 40-man roster stands at 39.

“We have been looking for a utility infielder who could play short, third and second base and we feel Yuni is a great fit,” said Royals’ General Manager Dayton Moore. “He brings a right-handed bat with some power and is a guy we know fits in well in the clubhouse.”

Betancourt, 29, was the starting shortstop for the National League Central Champion Milwaukee Brewers in 2011.  The 5-foot-11, 204-pounder hit .252 with 27 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 68 RBI and 51 runs scored during the regular season for the Brewers; then batted .310 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBI in 11 postseason games as Milwaukee advanced to the NLCS before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in six games. 

Betancourt hit .253 with 20 home runs and 105 RBI in 222 games for the Royals in 2009 and 2010 after being acquired in a trade from the Seattle Mariners on July 10, 2009.  Kansas City then traded him and pitcher Zack Greinke to Milwaukee on December 19, 2010 in exchange for shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitchers Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi.  Betancourt is a career .268 hitter with 189 doubles, 60 home runs and 375 RBI in seven seasons for the Mariners (2005-09), Royals (2009-10) and Brewers (2011).  Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, he now resides in Miami, Fla.

Royals ask fans to rank top 13 moments of 2011, announce 13-Game Holiday Pack

As the Royals look forward to the 2012 campaign, the club is asking fans to rank the best 13 Royals moments of the past season by visiting

Fans can rank the top plays and favorite memories of 2011 and compare their rankings to other Royals fans.  Featured plays include defensive gems from Jeff Francoeur, Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon and home runs from Billy Butler, Johnny Giavotella and Eric Hosmer to significant off-the-field moments such as the signing of 2011 first-round draft pick Bubba Starling. 

In conjunction with the campaign, the Royals have unveiled a special 13-Game Pack just in time for the holidays, giving fans the opportunity to be at Kauffman Stadium to catch the next great Royals moments.  The ticket package, which includes tickets to 13 home games at Kauffman Stadium in 2012 and a ticket to the 2012 All-Star FanFest, starts as low as $75.

Fans have the opportunity to choose from four different plans that include match-ups with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.  Each package also includes a ticket to the 2012 All-Star FanFest, a $30 value, scheduled for July 6-10, 2012.

In addition, customers purchasing the 13-Game Pack will have the opportunity to purchase an additional 10-Game Bonus Pack for only $60.  The bonus plan will give fans access to the same number of seats in the same level as their respective 13-Game Pack.  Tickets are available in the Field Box, Field Plaza, Hy-Vee Box, Hy-Vee Infield and Hy-Vee Outfield sections for all plans.

The 13-Game Pack is available now for a limited time only.  For more details on specific games dates and pricing or to purchase a 13-game package, please visit  Fans may also contact the Royals Sales Department by calling (816) 504-4040, option 2, or emailing

Royals Charities hosts annual kids holiday party

On Tuesday, the Royals and Royals Charities welcomed 80 area children to the third annual Royals Charities Kids Holiday Party.  Children from four area organizations – Della Lamb, El Centro, Inc., Operation Breakthrough and Spofford Home – took part in the event.

The children enjoyed dinner, an opportunity to make holiday-themed crafts and a visit from Royals mascot Sluggerrr.  All of the children received a gift from Santa Claus and a stocking full of goodies.

Royals sign four players to minor league contracts for 2012

 The Royals announced today that the club has signed four players to minor league contracts for the 2012 season.  Non-roster invites to Major League camp will be announced at a later date.

30-year-old left-handed pitcher Francisley Bueno was 7-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 15 starts last season for Monterrey in the Mexican Summer League.  Born in La Habana, Cuba, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder is currently 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA in 10 contests (six starts) for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League.  Bueno has made one career appearance in the big leagues, allowing two runs in 2.1 innings for the Braves on August 13, 2008.

Right-handed pitcher Juan Gutierrez, 28, posted a 5.40 ERA with no record in 20 relief appearances for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in September.  The 6-foot-3, 261-pounder is 5-10 with a 4.79 ERA in 150 career Major League outings for the Astros (2007) and Diamondbacks (2009-11).  The Barcelona, Venezuela, resident served as the Arizona closer for portions of 2009 and 2010, going 24-for-28 in save opportunities.  Gutierrez will continue his rehab from surgery to begin 2012.

27-year-old catcher Max Ramirez spent the entire 2011 campaign at the Triple-A level with the Cubs, Astros and Giants organizations.  The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder from Barquisimeto, Venezuela, batted a combined .278 with 15 doubles, 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 83 games.  Ramirez is a career .217 (25-for-115) hitter in 45 Major League games for the Rangers (2008, 2010).  He is currently batting .224 in 40 games for Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Outfielder Greg Golson, 26, played a majority of last season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the Yankees system, hitting .263 (101-for-384) with nine doubles, seven triples, eight home runs and 15 stolen bases in 20 attempts.  The 6-foot, 190-pounder from Austin, Texas, has seen Major League time in each of the past four seasons with the Phillies (2008), Rangers (2009) and Yankees (2010-11), playing all three outfield spots.


Infielder Jeff Bianchi claimed by Cubs

The Kansas City Royals announced today that infielder Jeff Bianchi has been claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs.  He was designated for assignment by the Royals on November 30.

Bianchi, 25, spent the entire 2011 season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he batted .259 with two home runs, 48 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 119 games.  The native of Lancaster, Pa., holds a .281 average in 490 minor league games since being selected by Kansas City in the second round of the 2005 June Free Agent Draft.

Royals select pitcher Cesar Cabral in the Rule 5 Draft, trade him to Yankees

The Royals today selected left-handed pitcher Cesar Cabral from the Pawtucket (AAA) roster of the Boston Red Sox with the fifth pick in the Major League Baseball Rule 5 Draft.  The Royals then traded Cabral to the New York Yankees for cash considerations, keeping the club’s Major League 40-man roster at 39.  In addition, the Royals selected left-handed pitcher Thomas Melgarejo from the Chattanooga (AA) roster in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

The 24-year-old Melgarejo (mel-guh-RAY-ho) from Minatitlan, Veracruz, Mexico, pitched for Saltillo (AAA) in the Mexican Summer League last season, compiling a 4-2 record with a 3.55 ERA in 49 relief appearances.  He has posted a 1-0 record with a 2.58 ERA (10.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 12 SO) in 18 relief appearances for Aquilas de Mexicali in the Mexican Winter Leagues.  The 6-foot-1, 216-pounder is 19-21 with a 4.54 ERA in 228 career minor league outings (32 starts), including his time in Mexico (2005, 2010-11).

The Royals did not lose any players from today’s Major League or minor league phases of the Rule 5 Draft.


Royals acquire minor leaguers Pounders and Goris from Pirates for Navarro

The Royals announced tonight that the club has acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Brooks Pounders and infielder Diego Goris from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for infielder Yamaico Navarro.  Pounders has been assigned to the Wilmington (A Advanced) roster while Goris was assigned to Burlington (R).  Following the trade, the Royals 40-man Major League roster stands at 39.

Pounders, 21, posted a 5-5 record with a 3.68 ERA in 36 games (one start) for Class A West Virginia in 2011.  In 66.0 innings, the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder allowed 61 hits while striking out 72 against just 14 walks.  The Pirates’ second round selection (53rd overall) in the 2009 Draft is a native of Temecula, Calif.

The 20-year-old Goris, who turns 21 tomorrow, hit .350 with 20 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 46 RBI and 53 runs scored for the Pirates’ Dominican Summer League club in 2011.  The 6-foot-2, 165-pound right-handed hitter also stole 15 bases in 18 attempts.  Goris, a native of Santiago in the Dominican Republic, is a career .302 hitter over four seasons in the Pittsburgh system, having been named an All-Star in the Dominican in both 2010 and 2011.

Navarro, 24, was acquired by the Royals from the Boston Red Sox on July 30 in exchange for infielder Mike Aviles.  He hit .304 in six games for the Royals and is a career .206 batter at the Major League level in 42 contests.

Major League Baseball All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run announced

    Major League Baseball today announced the third All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run presented by Nike, which will take place on Sunday, July 8, 2012. MLB will donate all net proceeds from the event to three charities supporting cancer research and education – Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Previous MLB All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Runs have been held in St. Louis (2009) and Anaheim (2010). This unique event unites three national cancer organizations that are committed to leading the fight against cancer.

     Participants will run and walk on an All-Star themed course, which is in development, featuring appearances by MLB legends, mascots and celebrity guests.

    The 5K, an officially timed event, will begin at 7:30 a.m. CT. Immediately following, at 8:00 a.m. CT, the family-friendly 1-mile Fun Run will begin. All registered finishers will receive a commemorative All-Star medal and t-shirt. Sign up now and receive a special early bird price of $25 (adult) and $20 (children 12 and under) for the 5K and $20 (adult) and $15 (children 12 and under) for the Fun Run. Space is limited so participants are encouraged to sign up early. Registration and event information is available at

    “The All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run provides fans with a unique way to be part of the All-Star festivities while raising awareness and funds for an important cause that effects every person,” said Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball, Executive Vice President, Business. “Because of the event’s popularity and success in the past, MLB is excited to bring it back in 2012 for the great baseball fans in Kansas City.”

       “We continue to work with Major League Baseball on the activities that will make up All-Star Week 2012 and we are excited to announce the first of many events, the All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run,” said Kevin Uhlich, Senior Vice President, Business, Kansas City Royals. “The 5K and Fun Run will be great for downtown Kansas City, a fun experience for the participants and a terrific help to the recipients of the money raised.”

    For the first time, participants will have the opportunity to register and create their own “All-Star” profile page online, which highlights their favorite League, MLB Team, personal photo, and allows them to share their story. Participants will have the opportunity to earn All-Star themed online badges, as they recruit friends to join their All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run presented by Nike roster and raise funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Two All-Star MVP badges will be awarded on July 8 to the top recruiter and fundraiser.

“Stand Up To Cancer is proud to once again partner with Major League Baseball for the 2012 All- Star Game Charity 5K and Fun Run,” said Rusty Robertson, Co-Founder, Stand Up To Cancer. “When the first 5K and Fun Run event was launched in St. Louis three years ago, we gained tremendous support from fans and saw that cancer truly does touch everyone. With the extraordinary, ongoing support of Major League Baseball we are able to continue our mission of accelerated cancer research to save lives now.”

“The Prostate Cancer Foundation looks forward to the MLB All-Star program each year, and the 5K event has become an important tradition,” said Dave Perron, vice president of baseball and sports enterprise at the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “We are extremely grateful to MLB for its dedication to raising crucial funds and awareness for cancer research, and we look forward to another successful partnership built around the All-Star Game and its varied activities.”

       ”The entire Susan G. Komen family is so grateful for Major League Baseball’s support and partnership over the past 8 years,” said Katrina McGhee, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “Breast cancer is not only difficult for the patient – a diagnosis affects the entire family. The awareness and funds raised by Major League Baseball enables Susan G. Komen to help families around the world in our promise to end breast cancer forever.”

    For more MLB All-Star Week information, please visit


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