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Thursday, December 22, 2005
Royals seeking two-year deal with Sanders

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals' quest for a corner outfielder may be nearing an end, with the team trying to reach an agreement with Reggie Sanders on a two-year contract worth about $10 million.

Reggie Sanders

"We're trying to work toward that," Royals general manager Allard Baird said Thursday night.

The 38-year-old Sanders could provide some much-needed offense to go along with what appears to be an improved Kansas City defense. He hit .271 with 21 home runs and 54 RBI in 295 at-bats last season for St. Louis, missing nearly two months after breaking his right leg in an outfield collision with Jim Edmonds.

Sanders had 10 RBI in the Cardinals' three-game sweep of San Diego in the first round of the playoffs, hitting a grand slam and driving in six runs in the opener.

Asked if he was close to a deal, Baird would only say: "I just don't believe in 'close' until it's done. Believe me, if we had it done, I would announce it."

Kansas City lacked production from its corner outfielders last season, when the Royals finished a major league-worst 56-106.

"I think he would be a pretty good addition to our club," Baird said. "But until everything is set, I just don't want to speculate."

Baird said he had also been talking to different teams about pitchers.

"There are a couple of guys we think may have some upside. But that's it," he said. "I spoke to a couple of clubs tonight as far as trades, and nothing came of that."

Sanders broke in with Cincinnati in 1991 and since 1998 has played for Cincinnati, San Diego, Atlanta, Arizona, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and the Cardinals. A career .267 hitter with 292 home runs and 923 RBI, he is projected as a right fielder by the Royals.

It has already been a busy offseason for Baird, who has signed free agent infielders Mark Grudzielanek and Doug Mientkiewicz, pitcher Scott Elarton and backup catcher Paul Bako.