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Royals sign RHP Keller, 2B Lopez, 12 others to major-league deals

Tampa Bay Rays v Kansas City Royals Brad Keller
Posted at 6:41 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 19:41:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Fourteen of the 31 Royals who entered the week unsigned for the 2020 season have agreed to terms with the club.

Kansas City made the announcement Wednesday on the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers at the Royals’ Spring Training complex in Surprise, Arizona.

The Royals signed seven pitchers, two catchers, four infielders and an outfielder to major-league contracts.

Starter Brad Keller, 24, headlines the group, along with second baseman Nicky Lopez.

Keller, a Rule 5 draft pick before the 2018 season, has established himself as one of the Royals’ front-line starters during the last two seasons.

Keller is 16-20 with a 3.68 ERA in 305 2/3 innings across 69 appearances, including 48 starts, since arriving in Kansas City.

Lopez, who will 25 by Opening Day, made his big-league debut last season and solidified himself as the Royals’ starting second baseman.

He batted .240 with 22 doubles in 103 games last season.

The Royals also announced the signings of RHPs Scott Barlow, Kevin McCarthy, Jake Newberry and Stephen Woods Jr. as well as LHPs Richard Lovelady and Gabe Speier.

As a Rule 5 draft pick, Woods has to remain on the Royals’ roster throughout the 2020 season or be offered back to the Tampa Bay Rays. He went 9-3 with a 1.88 ERA in 86 1/3 innings last season for the Rays Class High-A affiliate in Charlotte.

Additionally, Kansas City re-signed catchers Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria, along with infielders Kelvin Gutierrez, Jeison Guzman and Ryan McBroom and outfielder Nick Heath.