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Royals sign Alex Rios to one-year, $11 million deal

The Royals are betting on the 33-year-old outfielder to bounce-back to his pre-2014 level of play.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals and outfielder Alex Rios have agreed to a one-year, $11 million deal, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The move appears to be in a similar vein to last week's Kendrys Morales signing, as the defending AL Champs will be betting on Rios rebounding to numbers that had been quite serviceable prior to last season.

Rios, who will turn 34 in February, is coming off a rather disappointing season in which he hit just .280/.311/.398 for a 99 OPS+, as well as a 0.2 WAR and only four home runs. Over the preceding two seasons, Rios had hit .291/.329/.473 in over 1,300 plate appearances with the White Sox and Rangers, good for a 115 OPS+ and 7.3 WAR.

This isn't the first time Rios has taken a precipitous drop in offensive output, with sub-par seasons by OPS+ in 2009 (79) and 2011 (63) mixed in between an otherwise strong career. He was also quite poor defensively compared to prior seasons, with a -4.3 UZR/150 that was well below his 5.5 career average.

Of course, Rios did deal with ankle and thumb injuries for much of the 2014 season, so one could blame some of his performance dropoff on the injuries. But, in essence, the Royals have committed over $28 million over the past week to a pair of players who were worth a combined -1.5 WAR in 2014.

Rios should slot in as Kansas City's everyday right fielder, where he will be forming a formidable outfield battery alongside Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain. He will be replacing free agent Nori Aoki, who was quite good for the Royals in 2014, posting a 2.3 WAR and .349 OBP, both of which were significantly better than the marks Rios posted. So, for $11 million, the Royals will be trying to replace that production, which probably isn't a good bet at this point in Rios' career.