Royals Sign SS Sanchez for 2 Years
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Shortstop Rey Sanchez, coming off his finest season, agreed Tuesday night to a $4.6 million, two-year contract with the Kansas City Royals.
Kansas City had just about decided they would not be able to keep Sanchez, who played outstanding defense in his first year with the Royals while hitting .294 with 56 RBIs and 66 runs.
He teamed with rookie second baseman Carlos Febles to form one of the finest double-play combinations the club has had. Sanchez made just 13 errors in 134 games.
The Royals had until midnight EST Tuesday to offer salary arbitration to Sanchez, a free agent. Manager Tony Muser and assistant general manager Allard Baird had talked with Sanchez last week in Puerto Rico and urged him to remain with the Royals.
If they hadn’t signed him, the Royals could have been in trouble at shortstop because they do not have anyone at the position in their system who seems ready for promotion.
Sanchez will be paid $2.3 million in 2000 and 2001.
The Royals also did not plan to offer arbitration to free-agent catchers Chad Kreuter or Tim Spehr or pitcher Hipolito Pichardo, who missed last season with an elbow injury.