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MLB Offseason Roundup: Royals Extend Budding Star, Reds Sign Former Pirates All-Star

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Bobby Witt Jr., MLB offseason

This is one in a series of daily articles highlighting the latest news and notes from the MLB offseason.

The Kansas City Royals locked up 23-year-old shortstop Bobby Witt Jr on an 11-year, $288.78 million extension. The deal comes with three club options that could maximize the value of the contract to $377 million if exercised. Witt is also able to opt out each year from 2030-33, if he chooses.

It’s a major commitment from the Royals, who clearly believe Witt is their shortstop of the future. He played in 158 games this past season with Kansas City and hit .276 with an .813 OPS, 28 doubles, 30 homers, 96 RBIs and 49 steals. Additionally, Witt led baseball with 11 triples.

Witt was selected by the Royals with the second pick in the 2019 draft out of high school in Texas. He was considered the game’s top prospect prior to the start of the 2022 season by MLB Pipeline and Baseball Prospectus. He made his debut that season and hit 20 homers and stole 30 bases in 150 games played.

The deal is by far the largest in franchise history, eclipsing Salvador Perez’s four-year, $82 million extension from three years ago.

The Royals, who lost 106 games last season, have had quite an MLB offseason.

DODGERS MAKE MORE MOVES

The Los Angeles Dodgers did some bullpen shuffling on Monday. They re-signed right-hander Ryan Brasier to a two-year, $9 million deal. Brasier thrived after being picked up by the Dodgers in the middle of last season and had an incredible 0.70 ERA across 39 appearances.

The Dodgers also shipped left-handed reliever Caleb Ferguson to the New York Yankees in exchange for left-hander Matt Gage and pitching prospect Christian Zazueta.

OTHER NEWS AND NOTES

  • The Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a one-year deal with RHP Jakob Junis, per ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.
  • Former Pittsburgh Pirates utility man Josh Harrison signed a minor-league deal with his hometown Cincinnati Reds. Harrison played with the Pirates from 2011-18 and was an All-Star two times. He’ll be in big-league camp this spring.

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