The Royals announced today that the club has signed free-agent outfielder Alex Rios to a one-year contract with a mutual option for the 2016 season. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Rios, 33, spent the 2014 season with the Texas Rangers, batting .280 with 30 doubles, eight triples, four homers and 17 stolen bases in 131 games. His eight triples tied for fourth-most in the American League, while he ranked second in the league with a .333 batting average (45-for-135) during day games. He also batted .325 (40-for-123) with a .545 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching. Rios got off to a hot start last season, leading the league with a .335 average (84-for-251) through games on June 10, which included a 12-game hitting streak from May 17-29.
A two-time All-Star (2005-06 with Toronto), Rios will begin his 12th Major League season in 2015, after debuting for the Blue Jays in 2004. He’s a career .278 hitter with 352 doubles, 61 triples, 165 homers and 244 stolen bases in 1,586 games. The veteran outfielder ranks 24th among active players in hits (1,680), 21st in doubles (352), 10th in triples (61) and seventh in outfield assists (90). He is one of three active players with at least 300 career doubles, 50 triples and 150 home runs, along with Carlos Beltran and Jimmy Rollins. Rios set career highs in several categories in 2012 with the White Sox, batting .304 with 25 homers and 91 RBI and a .516 slugging percentage. He tied for third in the American League with 42 steals in 2013, splitting time between Chicago and Texas.
A native of Coffee, Ala., Rios graduated from San Pedro Martin High School in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, before being selected 19th overall by Toronto in the 1999 June Free Agent Draft. He resides in Guaynabo during the offseason with his wife, Carla, and children, Alex and Alessandra.
A busy week of roster moves continued today for the Royals. The club requested release waivers on outfielder Carlos Peguero, who spent the majority of 2014 at Omaha. That put KC’s 40-man roster at 39. The Royals then traded infielder Johnny Giavotella to the Angels for right-handed pitcher Brian Broderick. Giavotella was designated for assignment on Thursday when the club added RHP Kris Medlen. Broderick pitched in the Majors with Washington in 2011. He will not be on the Major League roster.
The votes are in. On Wednesday it’s time to relive some of the highlights of a memorable Royals season.
FOX Sports Kansas City will replay five of the most memorable regular-season Royals games of 2014 on Christmas Eve. Fan votes determined the first four, and the playoff clincher will cap off the marathon.
Royals Christmas Eve Marathon — Wednesday, Dec. 24 on FOX Sports Kansas City
Times Central | Programming available in the Royals television footprint
12 p.m. May 17: Royals 1, Orioles 0
Danny Duffy has a no-hitter for 6 2/3.
2 p.m. June 3: Royals 8, Cardinals 7
Eric Hosmer drives in the winner in the ninth as Royals complete a two-game sweep.
4 p.m. Aug. 11: Royals 3, A’s 2
Jarrod Dyson flips upon catching final out, and super fan Sung Woo Lee holds up the W after the win, as Royals move into first in the AL Central.
6 p.m. Sept 15: Royals 4, White Sox 3
In the 9th, Dyson scores as a pinch runner on steal and wild pitch, Terrance Gore scores as pinch runner on infield single from second.
8 p.m. Sept. 26: Royals 3, White Sox 1
The Royals clinch their first playoff berth since 1985.
Click here for more on each game..
The Royals Christmas Eve marathon will be available on FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest in western and central Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. DirecTV subscribers will find it on channel 671 and Dish on channel 418 or 412-08.
It’s the third straight year FSKC has shown a Royals Christmas marathon. The first four games will be shown in two hour windows, with the final game in three hours.
The Royals announced today that the club has signed free-agent right-handed pitcher Kris Medlen to a two-year contract with a mutual option for the 2017 season. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Royals will announce a corresponding roster move later today.
Medlen, 29, missed the 2014 season, recovering from “Tommy John surgery” after suffering an elbow injury during Spring Training. In his only full season as a starting pitcher (2013), the righty went 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA (68 ER in 197.0 IP), with his 15 victories tied for sixth-most in the National League. He finished the 2013 season with a flurry, earning N.L. Pitcher of the Month honors in September, posting a 4-0 mark with a 1.00 ERA and a .197 opponents average in his last five starts. He dropped a 2-0 decision at Philadelphia on April 4, 2013, which snapped a Major League record of 23 consecutive regular season starts that the Braves won, dating back to May 23, 2010.
Medlen has been used as a both a starter and reliever during his time with the Braves, going 34-20 with a 2.95 ERA in 152 career appearances and 61 starts. He opened the 2012 season in the bullpen, but was moved to the rotation on July 31, and went 9-0 with an 0.97 ERA in his 12 starts. He became the first Braves pitcher to post a sub-1.00 ERA and post at least eight victories in his first 10 starts of the season. Since the beginning of 2010, Medlen’s .674 winning percentage (31-15) ranks third behind Clayton Kershaw (.702) and Max Scherzer (.701) among pitchers with at least 40 decisions.
A native of Artesia, Calif., Medlen was selected by Atlanta in the 10th round of the 2006 June Free Agent Draft. He resides in Duluth, Ga., with his wife, Nicole, son, Max and newborn daughter, Penelope.
The Royals have helped with several charitable causes this holiday season, including:
- Pitcher Yordano Ventura delivered gift-wrapped presents and books to students at his former school in Samana, Dominican Republic. The event was part of a Major League Baseball Players Association initiative. Ventura’s visit helped to underscore the importance of education and encouraged youth to stay in school. He shared his life story, read a passage from a book and delivered gift-wrapped holiday presents and new books (photo credit – MLBPA).
- The Royals Alumni Association is donating a total of $25,000 this holiday season.
The following 19 programs received donations from the Alumni Association: Assists Foundation, Big Brother/Big Sisters, Blue Springs Elks Foundation, Children for Peace, Cross Points Church, Grace Church, Hope House, House of Hope, Macedonia Baptist Church, Marillac Center, Medical Missions Foundation, Operation Breakthrough, Ozanam, Project Walk, Rachel House, St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Welcome House and the Wounded Warriors.
Throughout the year, Royals Alumni donate their time to help raise money for the foundation to help area families in need. The two largest fundraising events are the Royals Alumni Batting Practices at Kauffman Stadium and the Royals Alumni Fantasy Camp located in Surprise, Ariz. The Royals Alumni Association is made up of former players, managers, trainers and coaches.
- Royals Charities announced funding of more than $1.2 million in 2014 to 104 501(c)(3) organizations and governmental entities in the Kansas City area that support children, education, youth baseball/softball and the military.
The 2014 total includes four special grants made possible by funds raised during the club’s postseason run. Recipients of the postseason grants are Community Services League, Kansas City (Mo.) Public Schools, Warriors’ Best Friend Foundation and Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center.
All 501(c)(3) organizations operating in the Kansas City area that support children, education, youth baseball/softball and the military are welcome to apply for a Royals Charities grant. The deadline for the spring grant cycle is set for March 1, 2015.
Organizations can learn more about applying for Royals Charities funding and the grant application process by visiting http://www.royals.com/grants or http://www.royals.com/royaltyfields for field renovation projects and directing questions to email@example.com.
The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has agreed to terms with first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales (pronounced: KEN-dreez more-AH-lez) on a two-year deal with a mutual option for the 2017 season. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Morales, 31, split the 2014 season between Minnesota and Seattle, signing a free agent contract with the Twins on June 8, before being traded back to the Mariners on July 24 for right-handed pitcher Stephen Pryor. He batted .218 with 20 doubles, eight homers and 42 RBI in 98 games between his two stops. After homering just once in his first 55 games, he hit seven round-trippers in his final 43 contests. In his last full season with Seattle (2013), he hit .277 with 34 doubles, 23 homers, 80 RBI and a .449 slugging percentage, playing in 156 games.
A switch-hitter, Morales played his first six Major League seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, enjoying a break-out year in 2009 when he tied for sixth in the American League with a career-high 34 homers and ranked fifth in the league with 108 RBI. He finished fifth in the Most Valuable Player voting that season. He was acquired by Seattle in 2012 for current Royals pitcher Jason Vargas. Morales is a career .271 hitter with 150 doubles, 110 homers, 387 RBI and a .460 slugging percentage. His 110 round-trippers are ninth-most among active switch-hitters.
A native of Fomento, Cuba, Morales resides in Miami, Fla., during the offseason with wife, Yarley and children Hanely and Kendrys, Jr.
The Royals announced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Yohan Pino (pronounced: PEEN-oh) to a Major League free-agent contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. In a corresponding roster move, the Royals designated right-handed pitcher Casey Coleman for assignment.
Pino, 30, made 11 starts with the Minnesota Twins last season, going 2-5 with a 5.07 ERA (34 ER in 60.1 IP), and walked just 14 while recording 50 strikeouts. He made his Major League debut on June 19 against the White Sox, taking a no-decision in a 4-2 Twins’ victory, allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts over 7.0 frames. He earned his first big league win in Seattle on July 10, allowing one run in the first 5.0 innings of a 4-2 triumph.
Pino also posted a 10-2 record and a 2.47 ERA (20 ER in 73.0 IP) with Rochester (AAA) last season, holding opponents to a .180 batting average, while he recorded a pair of shutouts in his first three starts. The right-handed pitcher originally signed with the Twins in 2004 and has compiled an 84-57 mark and a 3.76 ERA in 294 minor league appearances (155 starts) with nine complete games and four shutouts. Along with the Minnesota, Pino has pitched in the Cleveland Indians (2009-11), Toronto Blue Jays (2011-12) and Cincinnati Reds (2013) organizations.
Individual Royals Spring Training game tickets went on sale today (Monday, December 15).
You may also purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. The Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office will open at 7 a.m. local time on Saturday, January 3 for walk-up purchases. A service charge will be applied to tickets purchased online or over the phone. Fans with questions about Spring Training tickets may call (623) 222-2222
Veteran sportswriter Dick Kaegel has retired from MLB.com (click for an article by MLB.com’s Mike Bauman). Kaegel covered the Royals for 27 years, including the last decade as the beat writer for royals.com. Dick’s first World Series was on the east side of Missouri in 1964. Fifty years later, he finished his career here on the Show Me State’s west side, covering the Royals’ run to the Fall Classic.
Dick frequently brought his stories to life with a key word, phrase or background information…we appreciate this even more after being on the inside and seeing these stories develop. We’ll miss DK in the press box, though we hope to see him around Kauffman Stadium and Kansas City! Congrats on your retirement!
On Thursday evening, the Royals announced that right-handed pitcher Luke Hochevar will return on a two-year contract with a mutual option for the 2017 season. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.
Hochevar, 31, missed the entire 2014 season, rehabbing from “Tommy John” surgery in mid-March. He made a successful transition to the bullpen in 2013, going 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA (15 ER in 70.1 IP), holding opponents to a .169 batting average, which ranked third in the American League. His 82 strikeouts in 2013 also tied for sixth among the league’s relief pitchers with his 10.49 strikeouts per 9.0 IP ranking eighth in team history. The top overall selection in the 2006 June Free Agent Draft, Hochevar debuted for the Royals in 2007 and was a member of KC’s starting rotation from 2008-12. He’s 43-61 in his big league career with a 5.10 ERA in 190 outings (128 starts).