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Royals sign Ryan Goins to minor-league deal

Ryan Goins will try to play his way onto the Royals’ roster this spring.

Toronto Blue Jays v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Royals have signed utility player Ryan Goins to a minor-league deal with an invitation to big-league spring training, per a club announcement on Wednesday.

Goins, 29, will be joining a new organization for the first time after being non-tendered by the Blue Jays in December. He was drafted by Toronto in the fourth round of the 2009 draft and saw action with the Jays in each year from 2013-17, spending his first full season in the big leagues last year.

Goins has never been much of an offensive threat, posting a .228/.275/.335 slash line with 20 homers in 1,397 career plate appearances. He’s an exceptionally versatile player, though, as he’s logged time at every position besides catcher and center field over the course of his career. While he’s spent the majority of his time in the majors at second base, playing 248 games there and starting 212, he’s also seen extensive action at shortstop, playing 190 games there, including 87 in 2017.

The addition of Goins seemingly eliminates any chance of longtime Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar returning to Kansas City. 22-year-old Raul Mondesi, who was once ranked as the Royals’ top prospect but has struggled in limited big-league duty over the past two seasons, appears likely to take over as their starting shortstop. If Goins makes the team, he could serve as a backup all across the infield while acting as an insurance policy at short in case Mondesi continues to struggle offensively.