SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — After winning their first World Series in 30 years, the Kansas City Royals are thinking dynasty.
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One and done isn’t enough, or at least so said the Royals on Friday when they opened spring training for pitchers and catchers.
“These guys are not complacent,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We don’t have that problem. If you spend a little bit of time with anyone on this club, you’ll find out real quick, complacency is not an issue with these guys. They have a chance to make history and they want to take advantage of it.”.
No team has successfully defended a World Series championship since the Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000.
“We’re motivated,” outfielder Jarrod Dyson said. “That’s what you play the game for, man. You don’t play the game to win one. (Michael) Jordan isn’t shutting it down after winning one. Kobe (Bryant) isn’t shutting it down after winning one. Why are we going to shut it down after winning one?
“Naw, man, we want to win as many as possible. We know this group isn’t going to be together forever, so we’re trying to take advantage of that.”.
The Royals’ window may close after the 2017 season when first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, closer Wade Davis and outfielder Lorenzo Cain will be eligible for free agency.
“You don’t have to talk about it,” Dyson said. “Everybody basically knows about it. You know they are going to get paid. It’s kind of hard to afford guys when they’re like that. When you’ve got that group or bunch, you want to try to win it right then and there because who knows (how long) you’re going to be together. Nobody knows what is going to happen in the offseason, so you try to take advantage of the season.”.
The Royals added another pitcher Friday, signing left-hander Mike Minor to a two-year, $7.25 million contract. Minor had shoulder surgery and did not pitch last year with the Atlanta Braves. He likely won’t be ready to pitch until late May or early June.
To make roster space for Minor, the Royals placed left-hander Jason Vargas, who had elbow surgery last July, on the 60-day disabled list.
Left-hander Brian Duensing, who spent seven years with the Twins, signed Thursday with the Royals and is competing for a bullpen job.
“I feel like it’s the first day of school and I’m the new kid,” Duensing said. “I’m trying to figure out where I’m going and remember names. I feel a little bit like a fish out of water, give me a couple of days and I’ll feel more comfortable and things will move smoothly.”.
The Royals also added first baseman Balbino Fuenmayor as a non-roster invitee. Fuenmayor hit .358 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs in 89 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha before a July knee injury ended his season.