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BC-BBA--Royals-Maldonado

March 9, 2019
AP Sports Writer

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press the Kansas City Royals have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with Martin Maldonado, giving them a veteran catcher after losing Salvador Perez for the season.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Saturday because the deal was still pending a physical. It includes up to $1.4 million in incentives for games caught.

Maldonado spent last season with the Angels and Astros, hitting .225 with nine homers and 44 RBIs in 119 games. But his biggest strength is his ability to frame pitches and play defense, and his experience should help what is expected to be a young Royals team this season.

In fact, Maldonado’s Gold Glove in 2017 broke Perez’s streak of four straight.

Perez underwent Tommy John surgery last week after tearing a ligament in his throwing arm during a spring training workout. The Royals hope the six-time All-Star will be ready by next spring.

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