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Royals agree to one-year deal with Maxwell

Contract is worth $1.325 million as outfielder avoids arbitration hearing

KANSAS CITY -- Justin Maxwell, a lean and strong outfielder obtained at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last year, agreed to a 2014 contract with the Royals on Tuesday.

Maxwell avoided a salary arbitration hearing by accepting a $1.325 million contract from the Royals. The club had offered $1.075 million while Maxwell asked for $1.7 million when figures were exchanged last Friday. He earned $492,500 last season.

A 6-foot-5 right-handed hitter, Maxwell figures to compete for a backup slot behind an outfield that seems set with Alex Gordon in left field, Lorenzo Cain in center and newly acquired Norichika Aoki in right. But he'll have plenty of competition from Jarrod Dyson unless, of course, the Royals decide to keep two extra outfielders. That could be an interesting scenario, too, because backup infielder Emilio Bonifacio is also an accomplished outfielder.

Maxwell, 30, was obtained from the Astros last July 31 in a trade for Minor League pitcher Kyle Smith. In 35 games with the Royals, he batted .268 with five home runs and 17 RBIs.

He had a couple of big homers for the Royals -- a game-winning pinch-hit blast in the 12th inning on Aug. 3 at New York against the Mets and a walk-off grand slam to beat Texas, 4-0, in the 10th inning of the last home game on Sept. 22.

Maxwell's time with the Astros last season was interrupted by two injuries, and he hit .241 in 40 games.

The Royals still have two unsigned arbitration-eligible players, pitchers Greg Holland and Aaron Crow.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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