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Mike Moustakas’ off-season makeover included shedding about 10 pounds, a new coiffure — short on the sides — and a wedding, to Stephanie. Last year, his numbers dropped to 12 homers and a .233 average, nine points lower than the previous season, and Moustakas vowed to make changes.
The Royals will have some decisions to make with the starting rotation this season, but the top remains solid with James Shields. And Shields said Friday at the teams FanFest that he would welcome any discussion to extend his stay beyond the one year remaining on his contract.
An unfamiliar word was used to describe Kansas City Royals fans during the teams caravan stop in Wichita Thursday night bandwagon.
Starting pitcher Ervin Santana remains on the open market and Royals general manager Dayton Moore said the team could be interested in retaining Santana, who delivered one of his best major-league seasons in 2013. But Moore wouldn’t say how long of a contract the team might be interested in offering.
The Royals agreed to terms with first baseman Eric Hosmer, relief pitcher Luke Hochevar and infielder Emilo Bonifacio on Friday, avoiding arbitration with those players.
The Royals have signed veteran reliever Guillermo Mota to a minor-league contract, the club announced on Thursday. Mota, 40, last pitched in the majors in 2012, when he made 26 relief appearances for the Giants.
Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, who in one short season changed the culture within the franchise, was selected NFL executive of the year Thursday by the Pro Football Writers of America.
Two-time All-Star pitcher Brad Penny has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, although the deal hasn’t been finalized.
The Royals have restructured the contract of pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, freeing up some payroll space for 2014.
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and strong safety Eric Berry were selected to the NFL’s All-Pro team, chosen by The Associated Press.
David Lough, an outfielder who showed flashes of brilliance for the Royals in the field last season, has been traded to Baltimore for Danny Valencia, a third baseman who will factor into the clubs mix of infielders.
Part of the allure for second baseman Omar Infante signing with the Royals might have been the contract they offered: four years with a club option for 2018 worth a guaranteed $30.25 million, longer than any other deal Infante had on the table. But Infante, 31, made it clear that the Royals youthful energy played a role in his decision.
The Chiefs long history of strong special teams and returners has never included this many weapons in the same season.
Omar Infante, a second baseman with pop in his bat, appears to be headed to Kansas City. Infante, who hit .318 with 10 home runs for the Detroit Tigers last season, reportedly agreed on a four-year contract with the Royals on Friday night. The Royals have not confirmed the agreement, which was first reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney.
A light week of activity for the Royals at the Winter Meetings concluded Thursday morning — appropriately — with a whisper at the Rule 5 Draft. The Royals did not select a player in the major-league or minor-league portions of the draft, and they lost only one player, pitcher Tyler Sample, throughout the three phases.
It’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of the holiday shopping season even as the baseball industry begins dispersing Thursday from its annual Winter Meetings. That includes the Royals, of course, even with their limited payroll flexibility. They remained linked to several free agents, including infielder Omar Infante and right-handed pitcher Jason Hammel.
On Sunday against Washington, in icy conditions that practically begged for power football, right guard Geoff Schwartz and his fellow linemen had risen to the occasion by consistently winning the battle up front and paving the way for running back Jamaal Charles’ season-best 151-yard performance.
The Royals believe they have succeeded in adding a power bat to the middle of their lineup despite missing out in their pursuit of free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran. That power bat is left fielder Alex Gordon, who now can shift down in the order to fifth.
It took a few weeks of research, but National Geographic has confirmed that pop star Lorde was referring to a photo of Kansas City Royals baseball legend George Brett when she explained where she got the inspiration for her megahit Royals.
Free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran is returning to New York — and not to the Royals — on a three-year deal for $45 million. The news broke Friday night on Twitter by several media outlets. Beltran’s wife, Jessica, soon thereafter tweeted: “Back to NY!”