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Royals sign Mike Moustakas on a one-year deal

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Update (9:59 PM ET): The deal is indeed for one year but includes a second-year mutual option, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. Moustakas will earn $6.5 million guaranteed and can earn up to a maximum of $22.7 million. Passan further elaborates that Moustakas will take home a $5.5 million salary this season and can earn an additional $2.2 million in performance incentives. The mutual option for 2019 is worth $15 million with a $1 million buyout.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported on Thursday evening that the Royals are working to bring back free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that the deal is likely to be one year.

Moustakas, 29, entered free agency as one of the top hitters available, but the market stagnated and now it appears he will have to settle for a one-year “pillow contract” and test his luck again next offseason. Last season, he hit .272/.314/.521 with 38 home runs and 85 RBI — both career-highs — in 598 plate appearances.

If the two sides to come to an agreement on a deal, Moustakas will once again own the everyday job at third base. Cheslor Cuthbert was in line to handle the position, so he would return to handling a utility role.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.