Royals Sign Kevin Kouzmanoff to Minor League Deal


Though Mike Moustakas will be the everyday third baseman in 2012, the Royals found an insurance policy in case of injury by signing Kevin Kouzmanoff, formerly of the Padres, A’s and Rockies (and who was drafted by the Indians). According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the deal is a minor league contract with incentives for if Kouzmanoff makes the major league club and if he reaches an undisclosed number of plate appearances.

The deal could be worth as much as $1.3 million if he meets those incentives. The agreement also gives him an opt out provision if he isn’t in the big leagues by May 1.

Kouzmanoff was regarded as one of the Padres better young players after he was acquired from the Indians. In his first full season in 2007, he hit .270 and had 18 homers as a 25-year-old. In his first four seasons with the Padres (and later A’s), he had at least 30 doubles each season and at least 70 RBI, but he doesn’t get on base much (.300 career OBP) and his power isn’t enough to offset that shortcoming. He’s bounced around the majors the last few years and will turn 31 next season.

The Royals may still opt to have a 13-man bullpen in 2012 for most or part of the season, so that limits how Kouzmanoff could stick on a big league bench. The Royals previously signed Yuniesky Betancourt to play a sort of utility role that could see him get time at third base as well.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals Kevin Kouzmanoff MLB Royals Yuniesky Betancourt

  • jim fetterolf

    Seems a reasonable deal to get a major-league ready 3B at Omaha as insurance on the Moose. The depth chart is a little weak at 3rd between Moose and Cuthbert, so filling in the blanks.

  • LilFrenchy21

    @NorthMoRoyal who??

  • NorthMoRoyal

    @LilFrenchy21 he’s a 3B that has some MLB time and will be like insurance should #Moose struggle or get hurt

  • drheat_muzzillo

    @royalsbuzztap – I really like this. If nothing else, Kouz should be a good, reliable back-up!

  • michaelengel

    @drheat_muzzillo Yeah, he won’t be terrible in a part time role.

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf good point…someone’s gotta play it in Triple A, at least for that first month

  • jim fetterolf

    @michael.allen.engel Typical GMDM move, throw a rope to a desperate ballplayer. No Guarantee Kouz decides to opt out, and if the rotation shows it can eat a few more innings, that decreases the need for an 8-man bullpen. And who knows, if Moose starts out hitting .190 again he can get a trip to Omaha without the Royals having to bring Gordon in from left field. Kouzmanoff looks to only have played 3rd in the majors, so no idea whether he could be considered a “corner” infielder who could also play a little left to increase versatility.

  • jim fetterolf

    Seems a reasonable deal to get a major-league ready 3B at Omaha as insurance on the Moose. The depth chart is a little weak at 3rd between Moose and Cuthbert, so filling in the blanks.

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf I vaguely recall some discussion about his potentially playing the outfield back about 2008 or so. For a while, Kouz was one of those guys I was waiting on to break out, so I’d draft him every year for fantasy baseball, then have to drop him when he didn’t do what I’d hoped, then I’d just pick him up again, drop him again, etc over and over all year.

    So I recall (somewhere in my memory) some thoughts from Oakland about trying him in left. He’s a pretty good defender by the numbers though, so I’m not sure it benefits him beyond more versatility. It’s probably going to be best if he’s never more than a bench option or something probably went wrong somewhere.

  • LilFrenchy21

    @NorthMoRoyal who??

  • NorthMoRoyal

    @LilFrenchy21 he’s a 3B that has some MLB time and will be like insurance should #Moose struggle or get hurt

  • drheat_muzzillo

    @royalsbuzztap – I really like this. If nothing else, Kouz should be a good, reliable back-up!

  • michaelengel

    @drheat_muzzillo Yeah, he won’t be terrible in a part time role.

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf good point…someone’s gotta play it in Triple A, at least for that first month

  • jim fetterolf

    @michael.allen.engel Typical GMDM move, throw a rope to a desperate ballplayer. No Guarantee Kouz decides to opt out, and if the rotation shows it can eat a few more innings, that decreases the need for an 8-man bullpen. And who knows, if Moose starts out hitting .190 again he can get a trip to Omaha without the Royals having to bring Gordon in from left field. Kouzmanoff looks to only have played 3rd in the majors, so no idea whether he could be considered a “corner” infielder who could also play a little left to increase versatility.

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf I vaguely recall some discussion about his potentially playing the outfield back about 2008 or so. For a while, Kouz was one of those guys I was waiting on to break out, so I’d draft him every year for fantasy baseball, then have to drop him when he didn’t do what I’d hoped, then I’d just pick him up again, drop him again, etc over and over all year.

    So I recall (somewhere in my memory) some thoughts from Oakland about trying him in left. He’s a pretty good defender by the numbers though, so I’m not sure it benefits him beyond more versatility. It’s probably going to be best if he’s never more than a bench option or something probably went wrong somewhere.