The Kansas City Royals found their replacement at first base, signing Lucas Duda to a one-year contract Wednesday.
Terms were not announced by the team, but the deal reportedly is worth $3.5 million. In a corresponding roster move, outfielder Billy Burns was designated for assignment.
The Royals have been searching for a first baseman after Eric Hosmer recently departed for San Diego via free agency, signing an eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres.
Duda, a 32-year-old left-handed hitter, split last season between the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays. He combined to hit 30 home runs, matching his previous career best from 2014.
–The Cleveland Indians officially signed first baseman Mike Napoli to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to the major league spring training camp.
Napoli, 36, owns a career average of .246 with 267 home runs and 744 RBIs across 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Indians.
He was an integral part of Cleveland’s 2016 American League championship team, collecting career highs in home runs (34), RBIs (101), games (150), runs (92) and hits (133) while leading the club in homers and RBIs after signing a one-year deal in January 2016.
–Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel is set to begin the regular season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery Wednesday to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters that Gurriel is expected to be out five to six weeks. Luhnow said the operation addressed a pre-existing condition for Gurriel that had been asymptomatic until recently.
Gurriel was set to begin the season serving a five-game suspension for his offensive gesture toward pitcher Yu Darvish during the World Series. The ban instead will be served when he is activated from the disabled list.
–A virus causing chills, fatigue and other flu-like symptoms struck the Los Angeles Dodgers’ spring training home, leading the team to send numerous players home.
The Los Angeles Times reported that at least two dozen players or staff were affected by the malady. The medical staff hoped the symptoms would subside in one to three days.
“I haven’t seen anything like this,” manager Dave Roberts said.
–Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant missed his third consecutive spring training game due to an undisclosed illness.
Bryant was seen playing catch with a trainer on Wednesday morning ahead of the spring game in Mesa, Ariz., against the Oakland Athletics. He has been day-to-day all week reportedly dealing with flu-like symptoms.
Bryant hit .295 with 29 home runs and 73 RBIs last season.
–Field Level Media