Royals designated INF Tony Abreu for assignment.
The move was made to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to accommodate George Kottaras. Abreu, 28, batted .257/.284/.357 over 22 games for the Royals last season. He should clear waivers.
Royals claimed C George Kottaras off waivers from the Athletics.
Kottaras won’t get much playing time unless Salvador Perez gets injured, but he represents a nice upgrade over Brett Hayes as the backup. The 29-year-old batted .211/.351/.415 with nine homers last year between the Brewers and A’s.
Royals signed OF Charles Thomas to a minor league contract.
It’s not clear if the deal includes a spring training invite. Thomas, 34, has been out of baseball for the last five seasons and last played for the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2007. He figures to serve in an organizational depth role with the Royals.
Chris Getz said his surgically-repaired left thumb “hasn?t hindered my offseason workouts at all.”
“On the surface, it doesn?t look good, but it’s a good scar,” said Getz, who had the operation in August to repair a fracture. “It feels really good. It hasn?t hindered my offseason workouts at all. There have been no issues. I?m not even thinking about it.” A career .257/.314/.316 hitter, Getz is expected to be the Royals’ regular second baseman in 2013, though he’ll face some competition from Johnny Giavotella.
Royals avoided arbitration with RHP Luke Hochevar by agreeing to a one-year, $4.65 million contract.
He can earn an additional $100,000 in performance bonuses. It’s a pretty hefty sum for a guy that’s posted a 5.39 ERA over 771 career innings, which is why many felt the Royals would consider non-tendering Hochevar. He’ll fight for a rotation spot in spring training.
Bruce Chen will pitch for China in the World Baseball Classic.
Chen is of Chinese descent but was born in Panama and played for them during the 2009 WBC, pitching well enough to earn a deal with the Royals. The left-hander will compete for the Royals’ No. 5 starter job in 2013.
Royals signed RHP Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract.
It’s not clear if the deal includes a spring training invite. Boyer, 31, didn’t pitch professionally last season and hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2011 as a member of the Mets. He’ll likely function as organizational depth in 2013.
Dave Skretta of the Associated Press reports that the Royals have signed free agent Miguel Tejada.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that it’s a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Tejada, 38, did not appear in the majors in 2012 and batted just .239/.270/.326 in 343 plate appearances with the Giants in 2011. He’ll have to battle for a spot on Kansas City’s Opening Day roster and is doubtful to become fantasy-relevant.
According to MLBTradeRumors.com, free agent infielder Yuniesky Betancourt expects to land somewhere soon.
“I can assure you that Yuni will be signing a major league contract,” agent Alex Esteban told MLBTR. “Currently, there are four teams we are in conversations with and we expect to be finalizing a deal shortly after the holidays.” Betancourt, 30, hit just .228/.256/.400 with seven homers and 36 RBI in 57 games this past season for the Royals.