Kansas City Royals sign outfielder Michael Taylor to $1.75 million, 1-year deal


BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 28: Michael A. Taylor #42 of the Washington Nationals catches a fly ball from Alex Verdugo #42 of the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning at Fenway Park on August 28, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Royals announced Monday that they have signed outfielder Michael Taylor to a $1.75 million, one-year contract. In a corresponding move, the Royals designated left-handed pitcher Foster Griffin for assignment.

Taylor, 29, was granted free agency last month following seven Major League seasons, all with the Washington Nationals, including a World Series championship in 2019. This past season, he hit .196 in 38 games, but 11 of his 18 hits went for extra bases, resulting in a .424 slugging percentage. Taylor made starts at all three outfield positions, including eight in left field and center field and seven in right field.

He set career highs in 2017 with 23 doubles, 19 home runs, a .271 batting average and .806 OPS.

Taylor also tied for second among National League center fielders with eight outfield assists, despite playing in just 113 games, and was named a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. The following season, in 2018, he recorded a career-high 24 stolen bases while playing in a career-high 134 games.

Taylor was originally drafted as an infielder by Washington in the sixth round of the 2009 draft.

He’s been at his best in postseason play, batting .316 (12-for-38) with four home runs and 10 RBI in 16 career playoff games, including a home run in Game 2 of the 2019 World Series, his only plate appearance of the series.

The Royals believe he can bounce back at the plate while providing a defensive presence in centerfield in spacious Kauffman Stadium. 

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