Sunday marks the start of spring training games. Real live baseball finally has returned, with both the Cactus League and Grapefruit League seasons beginning. As for the hot stove, only five of our top 60 free agents are unsigned at the moment. Here are Sunday's rumors:
Royals sign Dozier to four-year extension
The Kansas City Royals have signed third baseman Hunter Dozier to a four-year, $25 million contract extension, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. The contract buys out the final three years of arbitration and one year of free agency, and begins this season, Passan adds. The deal also includes a fifth-year option for $10 million in 2026.
Dozier, 29, missed the start of the abbreviated 2020 MLB season due to a positive COVID-19 test and struggled to get back to top form at the plate. He recorded a .228/.344/.392 slash line in 44 games. Dozier, did, however, manage to post a career-high 14.5 percent walk rate during the shortened campaign.
In 2019's full 162-game season, Dozier hit 26 home runs with 84 RBI and finished tied for the league lead in triples with 10. Over the past two seasons, Dozier slashed .267/.347/.492 (119 wRC+). Dozier was the Royals' first pick (eighth overall) in the 2013 MLB Draft.