Royals will not offer Emil Brown a contract for 2008

Outfielder Emil Brown won’t get the chance to become the first player in Royals history to lead the team in RBIs for a fourth straight year.

The Royals announced Wednesday they would not offer Brown a contract for 2008. The announcement came just hours before the 11 p.m. deadline for doing so and contradicted recent statements by general manager Dayton Moore.

The club’s decision means Brown, 32, immediately becomes a free agent. Moore said the Royals would offer contracts to everyone else.

Brown batted .257 last season with just six homers in 113 games but still led the club with 62 RBIs. He led the Royals with 86 RBIs in 2005 and with 81 in 2006. Carlos Beltran is the only other player ever to lead the club in RBIs in three straight seasons.