Outfielder Mark Teahen might not have a well-defined role on the Royals when spring training opens later this week, but he now has a contract for the upcoming season.
Teahen, 27, reached agreement Sunday with the Royals on a one-year deal for $3.575 million. The contract cancels the need for an arbitration hearing.
The financial terms represent a compromise Teahen’s arbitration request of $3.85 million and the club’s offer of $3.05 million. He made $2.3375 million in 2008.
The agreement leaves the Royals with just one possible arbitration case: new first baseman Mike Jacobs, who is seeking $3.8 million. The club is offering $2.75 million.
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The Royals have never had a case go to arbitration since Dayton Moore became general manager in June 2006.
Teahen batted .255 last season with 15 homers and 59 RBIs in a career-high 149 games but will open camp without a regular spot in the lineup. He lost his job in the outfield when the Royals obtained Coco Crisp in an offseason trade with Boston.
The acquisition of Jacobs from Florida makes it unlikely Teahen, a former third baseman, will see regular time at first base.
Club officials say Teahen could see steady duty as a utility player, but he is already working out at second base, a new position, in hopes of gaining a regular role.
The Royals open camp Friday when pitchers and catchers report to the club’s year-round complex in Surprise, Ariz. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 18.