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Royals Sign Belcher to 2-Year Contract

September 13, 1996

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Kansas City Royals, trying to build a youthful team around strong pitchers, signed Tim Belcher to a two-year contract Thursday.

Belcher has emerged as a leader on the Royals staff with 13 victories. His signing comes after Kansas City locked in Kevin Appier, the ace of the staff, to a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year. Appier’s contract is worth about $14 million for three years.

Figures on Belcher’s contract were not disclosed. He made $975,000 in base salary this year and another $425,000 in incentives for making more than 30 starts.

Belcher is 13-9 with a 3.91 earned-run average in 31 starts.

Royals general manager Herk Robinson had made the signing of Appier, 12-10 with a 3.41 ERA, his top priority before concluding negotiations with Belcher.

Belcher, signed as a free agent before the season, had consistently maintained his desire to remain with Kansas City.

``He’s set an outstanding example with his professionalism, his work ethic and his preparation,″ Robinson said.

Belcher has a 107-99 career record with a 3.80 ERA. He was signed after pitching last year for Seattle. He also pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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