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Royals sign Crow to one-year deal, avoid arbitration

KANSAS CITY -- Relief pitcher Aaron Crow and the Royals agreed on a 2014 contract on Friday, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing.

Crow signed for $1.475 million. He had asked for $1.7 million and the Royals offered $1.28 million, the same salary he earned in 2013.

"It's just the business side of it," Crow said. "But I'm glad it's over with. I put that behind me and get ready for baseball now."

That leaves only closer Greg Holland unsigned among the Royals' salary arbitration-eligible players.

The 27-year-old Crow had a 7-5 record and 3.38 ERA in 57 relief outings last season. His seven relief victories tied for second in the American League, trailing only the eight by the Rangers' Neal Cotts.

"I think the bullpen is going to be great again," Crow said. "In my opinion, we had the best bullpen in all of baseball the last few years, and I just think we can keep getting better too."

Indeed, the Royals' bullpen posted the best ERA (2.55) in the AL in 2013. In fact, that ERA was the second lowest by an AL bullpen since 1982, with only Oakland's 2.35 in 1990 being better.

An All-Star as a rookie in 2011, Crow's three-year Kansas City career includes a 14-10 record, three saves and a 3.19 ERA in 187 games.

A product of the University of Missouri and Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kan., Crow was a first-round Draft choice by the Royals in 2009.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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