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Source: Royals close to deal with Juan Cruz


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The Royals, intent on competing in 2009, are close to signing free-agent reliever Juan Cruz, according to a major-league source.

The deal is believed to be for two years.

Cruz, 30, would team with two other right-handers, setup man Kyle Farnsworth and closer Joakim Soria, to give the Royals a formidable late-inning relief corps.

The Royals would lose their second-round draft pick to the Diamondbacks for signing Cruz, whose slow-developing market prompted Major League Baseball and the players' union to facilitate sign-and-trade discussions between Cruz's agents and other clubs.

The team's willingness to continue spending became evident when it recently bid between $4.5 million and $5 million for free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson, who instead signed for $3.38 million with the Dodgers.

Cruz, coming off two strong seasons with the Diamondbacks, has lingered on the market as a Type A free agent who rejected an offer of arbitration from his previous club.

To sign such a player, a team must part with a high draft pick. Most clubs have been unwilling to make that sacrifice.

Cruz went a combined 10-1 with a 2.88 ERA the past two seasons, holding opponents to a batting average/on-base/slugging line of .199/.318/.353 and striking out 158 in 112 2/3 innings.

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Yep but they have a pretty good bullpen for the 7th 8th and 9th with Cruz Farnsowrth and Soria if they can just get the game to them they might be a little suprising Dayton Moore has done a pretty good job with them so far IMO

Yeah. Dayton Moore has done a great job in his couple of seasons of running them. I really like what the Royals bring to the table this season. They are my pick for suprise team in the AL. My pick for surprise team in the NL is the Cincinnati Reds.

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