Royals bring back Escobar on one-year deal

January 26th, 2018

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals re-signed free-agent shortstop on Monday, adding back a key piece of their roster.
General manager Dayton Moore hinted on Friday at the team's Fan Fest event that the one-year deal was imminent. A source confirmed the contract is worth $2.5 million with $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.
"I've been here for seven years, and I feel like I belong here in Kansas City," Escobar said. "I got some offers outside. For me, I came back because I think it's better here, that's why I'm coming back."
"Obviously we're very delighted that Esky is back with us," Moore said Monday. "I think we all agree he's been a huge part of our success through this historic run here in Kansas City. I think we would all agree, and I certainly speak for myself, we all love watching him play and watching him compete."

Escobar, 31, spent the past seven seasons with the Royals and three times has played all 162 games in a season. Moore indicated Escobar would not be coming back to the Royals to be a backup player.
"When I signed, I said I want to play every day," Escobar said. "I'll be the first guy on the team to say that's what I want."
"It's safe to assume he's going to play a lot of shortstop," Moore added.
The Royals earlier this offseason spoke about 2018 being an opportunity for to claim a starting spot at shortstop. Those plans have changed.

Moore said Mondesi is still in the team's long-term plans but that the most important part of Mondesi's development is for him to play consistently. While Moore said it might be possible for manager Ned Yost to play Mondesi somewhere five or six times a week at the big league level, it's also possible Mondesi could be better off starting every day at Triple-A Omaha.
"We'll see how that unfolds," Moore said. "[Mondesi] can play second base. He can play short. He's good enough to play center field. We don't have a clear vision [for him] right now other than to continue his development. He is a part of our future."
Moore believes Escobar will give the Royals the defense they covet at the position.
"It's a very important position," Moore said, "and you need to convert outs there."
Escobar slashed .250/.272/.357 last season for the Royals and is a past Gold Glove Award winner who landed with Kansas City in December 2010. Escobar had a banner year in 2015, named the American League's starting shortstop for the All-Star Game, then being honored as the MVP of the AL Championship Series. He set a franchise record with a hit in 15 consecutive postseason games and led off Game 1 of the World Series that year with an inside-the-park home run, the first to do so in 112 years.