Royals and Alex Rios agree to one-year, $11 million contract

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Another free agent position player is off the board, as CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Royals have agreed to a one-year, $11 million contract with outfielder Alex Rios. He’ll take over right field from Nori Aoki, who is still likely to land a multi-year deal on the open market.

Rios, who turns 34 in February, batted .280/.311/.398 with four home runs and 54 RBI over 131 games with the Rangers this past season. He became a free agent at the end of October after Texas declined his $13.5 million club option for 2015.

Rios was bothered by ankle and thumb injuries this year, so there’s some bounce back potential if he’s healthy. The Royals also recently signed another Scott Boras client, Kendrys Morales, off a down season, so the defending American League champions are banking big on rebounds.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.