Winnipeg on Jan. 26. The Blackhawksin Announcements Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:21 am
by fangxu0220 • 884 Posts
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Omar Infante walked past the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium, where he dressed so many times as a member of the Detroit Tigers, and slipped on a crisp, new Kansas City Royals jersey. It was the latest sign of that the Royals intend to compete for the AL Central this season. The Royals introduced their new second baseman Tuesday, one day after announcing they had agreed to a $30.25 million, four-year contract that includes a club option for 2018. "I really got to see this team up close and I was very impressed by what they did last year," Infante said, "and I think theyre close to taking the next step." Infante will make $5 million next season, $7.5 million in 2015, $7.75 million in 2016 and $8 million in 2017. His option is $10 million with a $2 million buyout, and if Infante wins Silver Slugger or is picked for the All-Star game, his salary increases by $250,000 for each remaining season. Infante, who turns 32 next week, fills perhaps the most glaring hole that remained in the Royals lineup. Kansas City used six different options at second base last season, and none did enough to make the club feel comfortable about them in what could be a pivotal season for the franchise. The Royals are coming off an 86-76 season, their best record since 1989, and were in contention until the final week. But with star pitcher James Shields entering the final year of his contract, the window to break through to the playoffs for the first time since 1985 may be closing soon. Thats why the Royals have been aggressive this off-season. Theyve already sign left-hander Jason Vargas to a $32 million, four-year deal to make up for the likely loss of right-hander Ervin Santana in free agency, and traded reliever Will Smith to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Norichika Aoki. Royals general manager Dayton Moore said following the season that three most pressing needs were to add a starting pitcher, upgrade in the outfield and solidify the second base position. Infante appears to be the final major item on the off-season shopping list. "We like our club going forward," Moore said Tuesday. "Weve made a lot of improvements, but we fully expect and understand that were going to have to massage our roster and keep making adjustments throughout the year, and hopefully stay injury free." Infante has had some injury troubles in the past, including an ankle injury that he picked up during a collision at second base that limited him to 118 games last season. But he still hit .318 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs, far better production than Kansas City got from its second basemen. Emilio Bonifacio, Jamey Carroll, Chris Getz, Johnny Giavotella, Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada combined to hit just .243 with four home runs last season. Moore said earlier this off-season that he expected payroll to be about the same as it was in 2013, which ended at $86,614,795. But the signing of Infante combined with expected raises for arbitration-eligible players means the payroll for next season will shoot past $90 million, a franchise record. Thats led to speculation that the Royals may have to trim salary, and rumours that designated hitter Billy Butler -- who is owed $8.5 million next season with a club option for 2015 -- may become available for a trade. Moore said such rumours amounted to "hot stove rhetoric." "Its no different than you hear other players throughout the league that potentially are going to be moved," Moore said. "Billys a terrific hitter, and hes going to hit. Thats what Billy does." As for the payroll, Moore said that "were not under any directive to cut," and that team owner David Glass has been supportive and flexible when it comes to signing players such as Infante. "We all understand this makes really good sense, this type of deal," Moore said, "and putting Omar on this team, Mr. Glass has always been supportive." Infante also received interest from the New York Yankees, who are searching for a replacement for Robinson Cano. But they were lukewarm about going beyond three years, allowing Kansas City to seal the deal by offering a fourth year to a player who will be 35 by the end of the contract. "We think he can play," Moore said. "The players that play in the middle of the diamond for a long time, they all have some commonalities. Theyre very smart, theyre hard workers, good teammates, they know how to play, and thats why those guys have long careers." Cheap NFL Jerseys . Louis, MO (SportsNetwork. Jerseys NFL Cheap . Major League Baseball said Wednesday it created a "Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award" and a "Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award. http://www.jerseysnflcheap.us.com/ .com) - The Oakland Athletics on Wednesday acquired right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard from the Washington Nationals in exchange for recently obtained infielder Yunel Escobar. Cheap NFL Jerseys China . Victories havent come easy for the Jazz during this rebuilding season. "We realize were not there yet individually, where we can just play for ourselves and still win. Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping . The biggest shock of this seasons competition was on when Watford took a 2-0 lead after 30 minutes at Etihad Stadium, only for a remarkable Aguero-led comeback by City in the final half-hour. The Argentina striker produced clinical finishes in the 60th and 79th minutes to level the score before Aleksandar Kolarov put City in front in the 87th.CHICAGO -- Colorado is in the mix for one of the top playoff seeds in the Western Conference, and first-year coach Patrick Roy thinks the Avalanche are one of the NHLs biggest surprises. Tyson Barrie scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 7:10 left in the third period, and the Avalanche beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Tuesday night for their third straight win. Colorado reached the 40-victory mark faster than any team in franchise history. It also improved to 3-1 against the Blackhawks this season and moved within one point of the Stanley Cup champions for second in the Central Division. "Our objective at the start of the season was to surprise the world of hockey," Roy said. "Today, I guess were making it even more interesting. Were one point behind these guys with one game in hand." Barrie got open in the left circle and one-timed Erik Johnsons perfect cross-ice feed high past Corey Crawford on the glove side. It was Barries second game-winner against Chicago this season, following an overtime goal against the Blackhawks on Jan. 14. "He put it right in my wheelhouse and I was able to get everything on it," Barrie said. "You always want to put it upstairs. I was lucky to beat Crawford there." Paul Stastny completed the scoring with an empty-netter with 32.6 seconds left. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon got an assist on Stastnys 20th goal, extending his point streak to 12 games, tying Wayne Gretzkys record for an 18-year-old set in 1979-80. Barrie scored for the second straight game as Colorados defencemen continued to contribute offensively. The Avalanche got four goals from defencemen in a 6-3 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. Ryan OReilly and Maxime Talbot also scored for the Avalanche, who are 17-6-1 since New Years Eve. OReilly has three goals and three assists in his last four games. "I think we know what weve got in here," Barrie said. "Weve got a great group of guys. Its a lot of fun to play." Ben Smith and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago, which was without veteran forward Marian Hossa. Toews has three goals in his last two games. Hossa left Saturday nights 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh at Soldier Field with an upper-body injury and is expected to miss two to three weeks. Brandon Saad moved up again to take Hossas spot on the right side of Chicagos top line with Toews and Patrick Sharp. The Blackhawks outshot Colorado 38-21, and Chicago coach Joel Quenneville thought that statistic reflected the play on the ice for most of the game.dddddddddddd "I think we outchanced and outplayed them," Quenneville said. "I didnt like any of the goals that went in tonight. It was one of those games." Chicago also lost ground to St. Louis, which beat Tampa Bay 4-2 and is all alone in the Central lead, three points behind Anaheim for the top spot in the conference. "We lost a lot of ground," Quenneville said. "A four-point swing." Chicago and the much-improved Avalanche could meet in the opening round of the playoffs under the NHLs new alignment. "I would say 80 per cent, if not 90 per cent, said at the beginning of the year the Avalanche will miss the playoffs," Roy said. "Its not done yet, but were certainly in good shape right now." Colorados Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves. Crawford had 17 stops in the Blackhawks first game at the United Center since a 3-1 loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 26. The Blackhawks outshot Colorado 11-3 in a scoreless first period, but didnt generate many prime chances. Talbot put the Avalanche in front 2:49 into the second when he got his stick on Johnsons low shot from the right point. Positioned in the right circle, Talbot barely ticked Johnsons wrister, but it was enough to direct the puck between Crawfords pads. The Blackhawks turned up the pressure after falling behind, outskating the Avalanche and forcing turnovers. Varlamov helped keep Chicago off the board with several sharp saves, including point-blank stops on Toews and Peter Regin. Smith and Chicagos solid fourth line tied it at 1 with 3:08 left in the second. Capping some work along the boards with Brandon Bollig, Smith cut into the left circle and fired a shot past Varlamov with Avalanche defenceman Jan Hejda screening. OReilly snapped off a low shot from the right circle that slipped between Crawfords pads at 1:23 of the third to put Colorado ahead 2-1. Toews replied with a power-play goal at 7:17. After slipping to the right side of the net, Toews took Sharps feed and fired it past Varlamov to complete a slick passing series. NOTES: The Blackhawks acquired D David Rundblad and D Mathieu Brisebois in a trade with Phoenix before the game. Rundblad will join the Blackhawks and give them eight defencemen on the roster. Brisebois will report to Rockford of the AHL. Chicago parted with a second-round selection in this years draft to complete the trade. ... Crawford wore his black leg pads against Colorado. His favourite set, custom white models, disappeared from Soldier Field after Saturdays game. cheap nfl jerseys Cheap nhl Jerseys ' ' '