Spring Training Notebook: Kansas City Royals

Manager: Ned Yost (third season).

2012: 72-90, third place.

Training Town: Surprise, Ariz.

Park: Surprise Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 12/15.

He's Here: RHP Ervin Santana, RHP James Shields, RHP Wade Davis, OF Xavier Nady, LHP George Sherrill, OF Endy Chavez.

He's Outta Here: INF Yuniesky Betancourt, LHP Jonathan Sanchez, RHP Jonathan Broxton.

Going campin': The Royals could have an entirely new starting rotation from the start of last season. They re-signed Jeremy Guthrie, who went 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA after a midseason trade with Colorado, to a three-year, $25 million deal.

They then made a trade with the Los Angeles Angels for Ervin Santana, who is owed $13 million this season.

But the biggest move of the offseason was when the Royals dealt top prospect Wil Myers and promising pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery to the Tampa Bay Rays for Shields, a former All-Star, and Davis. Shields was 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA last season, while Davis will be transitioning back to the rotation after spending last season in the bullpen, where he was 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA.

The fifth spot in the rotation may be the most intriguing battle of spring training. Veteran left-hander Bruce Chen, former No. 1 overall draft pick Luke Hochevar and several others will be competing for the job.

The rest of the lineup returns almost entirely intact, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of questions. 1B Eric Hosmer batted just .232 with 14 homers and 60 RBIs last season, and 3B Mike Moustakas hit .242 with 20 homers and 73 RBIs. The Royals will need more out of their corner infielders if they're going to compete with Detroit and Cleveland in the AL Central.

C Salvador Perez and DH Billy Butler had big years, and the outfield of Gold Glove-winner Alex Gordon in left, Lorenzo Cain in center and Jeff Francoeur in right returns intact.

The lone position battle should be 2B, where Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella will get the longest looks. If everyone plays up to expectations, the Royals could be a .500 club for the first time since 2003, and perhaps keep a weary fan base interested past May.

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