Moustakas to stay with Royals

The Associated PressMike Moustakas is staying with the Kansas City Royals in a surprising turn dictated by a historically slow free-agent market.

Kansas City agreed Thursday to a one-year contract that guarantees the third baseman $6.5 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told the AP.

The deal could be worth up to $22.7 million over two seasons, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.

Moustakas gets a $5.5 million salary this year and has the chance to earn $2.2 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. The agreement, reached exactly three weeks before opening day, includes a $15 million mutual option for 2019 with a $1 million buyout.

The 29-year-old infielder turned down a $17.4 million, one-year qualifying offer from the Royals in November. But he found the interest of many other teams dimmed because a deal would have required compensation such as a loss of draft picks and/or international signing bonus allotment.

Moustakas would make $200,000 each for 225, 250, 275, 300, 325 and 350 plate appearances, and $250,000 apiece for 375, 400, 425 and 450. If he earns those bonuses and the option is declined, the total value of the deal would match the $8.7 million he earned in 2017.

His agreement was first reported by Yahoo.

The 29-year-old could not be given a qualifying offer again after this season. One of the changes in the collective-bargaining agreement reached in November 2016 is a provision preventing a player from being given more than one qualifying offer in his career.

Judge might rule against Derby

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is strongly leaning toward not taking part in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year, who had 52 homers and 114 RBIs in his first full major league season, won the derby last season in Miami.

“A cool experience,” Judge said Thursday. “I enjoyed it all, but I don’t think I really needed to go out there and do it again. I won it once. One and done is good for me.”Speech

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