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Former Cincinnati speedster Billy Hamilton signing contract with Royals

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 15: David Bote #13 of the Chicago Cubs tags out Billy Hamilton #6 of the Cincinnati Reds as he attempts to steal third base during the sixth inning at Wrigley Field on September 15, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations says the Kansas City Royals and outfielder Billy Hamilton have agreed to a $5.25 million contract for next season that includes up to $1 million in incentives.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal was pending a physical. No official announcement was expected as general managers were meeting in Las Vegas.

Hamilton made $4.6 million with the Cincinnati Reds last season, when he was their everyday center fielder, but he was not tendered a contract for this season. The career .236 hitter’s biggest attribute is his speed — he stole at least 50 bases four straight seasons before dipping to 34 last season.

He helps to solidify what had been a shaky outfield for Kansas City last season.

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