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Royals add Saunders to outfield mix

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- On Friday, the Royals signed outfielder Michael Saunders to a Minor League deal with an invite to Major League camp. According to a source, Saunders will make $1.5 million if he makes the Major League roster with $500,000 more available in performance bonuses.

Saunders, 31, had just signed with the Pirates on Wednesday, a day before the team acquired Corey Dickerson to add to an already crowded outfield, and allowed him to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Saunders is expected to arrive in Surprise within two days.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- On Friday, the Royals signed outfielder Michael Saunders to a Minor League deal with an invite to Major League camp. According to a source, Saunders will make $1.5 million if he makes the Major League roster with $500,000 more available in performance bonuses.

Saunders, 31, had just signed with the Pirates on Wednesday, a day before the team acquired Corey Dickerson to add to an already crowded outfield, and allowed him to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Saunders is expected to arrive in Surprise within two days.

The Royals potentially could use a left-handed bat without Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Brandon Moss in the lineup this season.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 with the Blue Jays, when he had an .815 OPS with 24 homers and 57 RBIs.

Saunders dropped off to .202 last year, splitting time between the Phillies and Blue Jays.

"We thought it was important for our outfield depth to sign him," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "He's a left-handed bat -- we're pretty right-handed right now. He was an All-Star two years ago, and it's just an opportunity to add to our depth."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Michael Saunders