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Royals come to terms with Lorenzo Cain

The Royals followed this morning’s announcement of a deal with Mike Moustakas by announcing a one-year contract with Lorenzo Cain, avoiding arbitration.

Cain, 28, had an outstanding 2014 campaign, being named the Most Valuable Player in the American League Championship Series as well as the Les Milgram Player of the Year by the Kansas City Chapter of the BBWAA.  During the regular season, he set career highs in batting average (.301), games played (133), runs (55), hits (142), doubles (29), triples (4), RBI (53) and stolen bases (28).

Cain8272The veteran outfielder performed even better in the postseason, batting .333 with five doubles, eight RBI and 13 runs scored, which included a four-hit game in Game 2 of the ALCS in Baltimore.  Defensively, Cain earned a second-straight Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, collecting a career-high eight outfield assists, while he was third among American League outfielders with a .949 zone rating.

The signing leaves the Royals with four unsigned arbitration-eligible players: pitchers Danny Duffy, Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland and first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Royals, Mike Moustakas agree to terms for 2015

Moustakas1010.1The Royals announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with third baseman Mike Moustakas for the 2015 season, avoiding arbitration.  Consistent with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Moustakas, 26, hit 15 home runs last season, while batting .212 with 21 doubles and 54 RBI.  He enjoyed a tremendous postseason, blasting a team-record five homers, including the go-ahead roundtripper in Game 1 of the American League Division Series in Anaheim.  Moose hit safely in each of his first six playoff games and homered in the first two games of the ALCS at Baltimore’s Camden Yards.  He also made a memorable catch in Game 3 of the series, falling over the railing above the dugout suites at Kauffman Stadium to haul in a foul ball off the bat of Adam Jones.

The signing of Moustakas leaves the Royals with five unsigned arbitration-eligible players: pitchers Danny Duffy, Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland, first baseman Eric Hosmer and outfielder Lorenzo Cain.

2015 Royals Caravan concludes with a visit to Fort Riley

The 2015 Royals Caravan made its final voyage today, stopping at Fort Riley before going on to Lawrence for tonight’s basketball game between KU and Iowa State.

Hall of Famer George Brett, Royals Hall of Famer Dennis Leonard, pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, broadcaster Rex Hudler and Sluggerrr met with troops from the Big Red One at Fort Riley.  They also presented the USO with a Royals Charities check for $10,000!

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Royals Awards Photos

2014 award winners Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis and Yordano Ventura took home the hardware today during FanFest.  Let’s take a look:

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FanFest photos

While the final numbers aren’t in, over 20,000 tickets were sold for the two-day Royals FanFest.  Thank you to everyone who came out this weekend!FanFest6

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GBR! A surprise visit in Lincoln

Our Royals Caravan made an unplanned stop on Thursday afternoon in Lincoln.  We had extra time before our Omaha meet and greet, so we stopped to see the Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball team.  The Huskers’ baseball practice facility is named after Royals outfielder and alum Alex Gordon.

FSKC’s Rex Hudler and Nebraska coach Darin Erstad were teammates with the Angels in 1996.  Hudler later returned to Anaheim as a broadcaster.  Erstad was a mainstay in the Angels outfield during most of that time.

We caught up with a former Royal as Ken Harvey is an assistant coach on Erstad’s staff!

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Royals Caravan School Visit in Denison, Iowa

Our Royals Caravan rolled into Denison, Iowa, on Friday for a visit with fourth and fifth grade students.

We took part in an assembly, with players answering questions submitted by the kids.

Then it was on to the cafeteria, where our group made new friends!

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Behind the Scenes on Caravan

Royals front office staffers Ben Aken, Bre Edgley and Keith Kowalski plan the hours of each Caravan day in a meticulous fashion.  Workouts for the players are arranged, as are time periods for some meals, though we usually eat on the bus in order to move on to our next destination.  Many miles are covered and the days can be quite long.  For example, ATH is on the Caravan to Nebraska and plans were made for Terrance Gore and Erik Kratz to work out at 6:45 on Friday morning.  We’ll arrive home in KC late on Friday evening!

Below, we see Lane Adams participating in a workout opportunity at Wichita State University.  And you never know who you might see in line at Hy-Vee!  Terrance and Erik picked up lunch for the road.

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Loyal Royals fan: Lorraine Hawkins

Here’s a cool story of a baseball, a Royal (Christian Colon), two baseball fans and a baseball family (the Coleman family) coming full circle:  Lorraine Hawkins of Joplin, Mo., is 92 years young and a loyal Royals fan.  You may recognize her from local news reports during the 2014 Postseason.  She attended SIX of the seven World Series Games last fall, though she was unable to attend Game 7.

A young man named Jonathan saw Lorraine’s picture on Kauffman Stadium’s CrownVision and decided to give her a baseball.  While we don’t know Jonathan’s last name, this first picture shows him with Lorraine.

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The baseball that he gave to Lorraine last fall was thrown to him by Royals infielder Christian Colon, who also happened to be on Thursday’s Caravan visit to Joplin.  Here are Christian presenting Lorraine with the signed baseball on Thursday:

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Reliever Louis Coleman was on the Caravan with Colon and by coincidence, Lorraine had her picture taken last fall with Louis’ mother and two of his three sisters!

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We thank Lorraine for her dedication and for visiting Royals Caravan!  GO ROYALS!

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First day of 2015 Caravan wraps up in Springfield

Thank you, Springfield, for coming out to support the Royals and wearing your “WE OWN THE PENNANT” shirts…that might be ATH’s favorite from last fall’s wardrobe additions.

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