Royals sign Martin Maldonado to one-year deal

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The Kansas City Royals have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with free agent catcher Martin Maldonado. Maldonado can earn $1.4 million in incentives for games caught. The deal is pending a physical.

The Royals were in need of a catcher after losing Salvador Perez for the season due to Tommy John surgery. Maldonado — an excellent defensive catcher who is limited offensively — was in need of a job after languishing on the free agent market all winter and into spring training. Last week he fired his agent, Scott Boras, and hired Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group. Ken Rosenthal reported that Maldonado turned down a two-year, $12 million contract offer from the Houston Astros when free agency began last fall. So, yeah, ouch.

Maldonado spent last season with the Angels and Astros, hitting .225 with nine homers and 44 RBIs in 119 games. He is considered the best pitch-framer in the game, however, and will no doubt be an asset to an inexperienced Royals pitching staff.