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Archive for Wednesday, December 10, 2003

K.C. adds Stairs, Sullivan

Royals close to signing catcher Santiago

December 10, 2003

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— The Kansas City Royals added a pair of free agents Tuesday, agreeing to a $5 million, two-year contract with reliever Scott Sullivan and a $1 million, one-year deal with outfielder Matt Stairs.

And Kansas City isn't done, yet. Benito Santiago and the Royals were close to agreement on a $4.3 million, two-year contract. Santiago's deal, which the Royals haven't confirmed, calls for yearly salaries of $2.15 million. He can earn an additional $150,000 in bonuses each year based on games and $300,000 more based on plate appearances. The 1987 NL Rookie of the Year spent the last three seasons with the San Francisco Giants.

General manager Allard Baird said Santiago's contract had not yet been completed and the sides were "dotting the i's and crossing the t's."

Sullivan, 32, shores up an unreliable bullpen, while Stairs, 35, likely will be asked to replace Ibanez, who agreed to a $13.25 million, three-year contract with Seattle.

A nine-year veteran, Sullivan was a combined 6-0 with a 3.66 ERA for Cincinnati and the Chicago White Sox last season. He held opponents to a .205 batting average.

Sullivan gets $2.1 million next season and $2.6 million in 2005, and the Royals have a $2.75 million option for 2006 with a $300,000 buyout. But if Sullivan appears in 80 games in 2005 or 150 games in 2004 and 2005, it would become a player option.

Stairs, a left-handed hitter, batted .292 for Pittsburgh last season with 20 homers and 57 RBIs. He has a career .266 batting average with 176 homers.

Stairs can earn an additional $100,000 if he has 375 plate appearances.

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