Hayes returning to Royals with one-year deal
Veteran catcher to compete for backup role behind All-Star Perez
Catcher Brett Hayes will return to the Royals organization for the 2014 season after the two sides avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract Friday. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Hayes, 29, appeared in five games over two stints with Kansas City last season, hitting .278 (5-for-18) with one home run. He spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he hit .233 over 78 games, while ranking second among Pacific Coast League catchers with 17 home runs.
A second-round pick by the Marlins in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Hayes was claimed off waivers by the Royals in November 2012.
Including parts of four big league seasons he spent with the Marlins, Hayes is a career .220 hitter with nine home runs over 148 games.
Hayes is one of three catchers on the Royals' 40-man roster and part of a field of players bidding to back up All-Star Salvador Perez. Besides Hayes, Francisco Pena and non-roster invitees Adam Moore and Ramon Hernandez will compete for that job. Hernandez, a former All-Star for the Reds, signed just this week.
The Royals have seven unsigned players eligible for arbitration. Pitchers Tim Collins, Aaron Crow, Luke Hochevar and Greg Holland, infielders Emilio Bonifacio and Eric Hosmer and outfielder Justin Maxwell can formally file for arbitration on Tuesday, and would exchange one-year salary proposals with the team if they remain unsigned on Jan. 17. After that, the sides can continue negotiating until a scheduled hearing in February.