Shortstop Alcides Escobar returns to Royals on one-year contract

Maria Torres, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Baseball

The Royals announced Monday afternoon that they finalized a one-year contract to bring back free-agent shortstop Alcides Escobar.

Escobar figures to be the team's starting shortstop, as he has been since 2011. That leaves prospect Raul Mondesi, who turns 23 years old in July, likely headed to the minors to start the season.

The contract is for $2.5 million with up to $1.5 million more in bonuses if Escobar reaches 600 plate appearances, according to a source. Escobar made $6.5 million in 2017, the final year of a six-year contract.

After a dreadful start to the 2017 season, Escobar ended up batting .250 with six home runs and 54 RBIs. From Sept. 1 to the end of the season, Escobar batted .330 with a .570 slugging percentage and had 33 hits in 30 games.

"Esky means a lot to this city, he means a lot to this fanbase and he means a lot to our team," Royals' designated hitter Brandon Moss said at FanFest on Friday. "It's no joke that when Esky got going last year the team started to take off a little bit because he can do a lot of good things. His defense is second to none.

" ... He's a very undervalued player. He does things that may not look sexy in the box score, he doesn't get a lot of talk on TV. But in the clubhouse he's respected and he's a huge asset."

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(The Star's Rustin Dodd contributed to this report.)

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