First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and starting pitcher Scott Elarton have all agreed to sign with Kansas City. The Royals are expected to hold an 11 a.m. news conference today announcing the moves, as well as the signing of backup catcher Paul Bako.
To make room for the four on the 40-man roster, the Royals will designate for assignment first baseman Ken Harvey _ their lone All-Star in 2004 _ outfielder Matt Diaz and relief pitchers Shawn Camp and Chris DeMaria.
Elarton™s contract is believed to be for two seasons, while Grudzielanek™s is for one with an option and Mientkiewicz and Bako™s straight one-year deals.
Together, the four bring 34 years of major-league experience, 66 games in the playoffs and a much-needed veteran presence to supplement Mike Sweeney and Matt Stairs while the Royals try to rebuild around their young core and ease the integration of top prospects Billy Butler and Alex Gordon.
I’m still awaiting word from the Elias Sports Bureau on whether or not Mientkiewicz and Grudzielanek will constitute the hardest-to-spell right side of an infield in big league history.