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Royals get utility man Freel in trade with Cubs

DETROIT | The Royals moved to bolster their struggling offense Monday by acquiring outfielder/third baseman Ryan Freel from the Chicago Cubs with cash for a player to be named later.

Freel, 33, had just four hits in 28 at-bats for the Cubs following a May 8 trade that brought him from Baltimore for former Royals outfielder Joey Gathright. Freel spent much of the last six weeks battling a strained left hamstring.

The trade comes four days after the Cubs designated Freel for assignment. The accompanying cash is believed to be sufficient to cover the majority of Freel’s $4 million salary.

The Royals anticipate activating Freel prior to Tuesday’s game. They must make a corresponding roster move to clear space.

Freel, a right-handed hitter, is an eight-year veteran who spent the six previous seasons with Cincinnati. He stole 110 bases for the Reds from 2004-06 and has a .269 average with 22 homers and 119 RBIs in 576 career games.

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