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MLB roundup: Royals fill hole at second base

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals filled the most glaring hole in their roster Monday night when they finalized a $30.25 million, four-year deal with Omar Infante to become their primary second baseman.

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The agreement, which includes a club option for 2018, was reached last Friday. Infante will be introduced during a news conference Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.

The notoriously frugal Royals have been aggressive this offseason after posting their best record in more than two decades at 86-76. They already have signed left-hander Jason Vargas to a $32 million, four-year contract and traded reliever Will Smith to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Norichika Aoki.

RP Axford, SP Marcum

sign with Cleveland Indians

CLEVELAND — After considering some in-house options, the Indians may have found their new closer on the outside.

Free agent John Axford, who had 46 saves for Milwaukee in 2011 but has struggled the past two seasons, has agreed to terms on a contract with the Indians, pending a physical. Axford is expected to undergo a medical exam early this week.

The 30-year-old Axford lost his closer’s job last year with the Brewers and was traded to St. Louis in August. He blew six save chances in 62 games last season with the Brewers before they dealt him to the Cardinals, who used him in a late-inning role.

The Indians also signed free agent pitcher Shaun Marcum to a minor league contract.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where the 32-year-old right-hander will get a chance to compete for a job in Cleveland’s starting rotation. Marcum would receive a $1 million salary if he’s added to the 40-man roster, and he can earn another $3 million in bonuses.

Braves add SP Floyd,

settle with SP Beachy

ATLANTA — The Braves added a needed veteran for their rotation Monday when they agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with right-hander Gavin Floyd.

Floyd, 30, is recovering from surgery in May to repair the ulnar collateral ligament and a torn flexor muscle in his right elbow. That ended his seventh season with the White Sox.

He passed a physical in Atlanta on Monday before completing the deal, which also includes roster and performance bonuses.

Cubs claim former Twins

SP Hendriks off waivers

CHICAGO (Sports Xchange) — RHP Liam Hendriks, designated for assignment by the Twins on Dec. 5, was claimed off waivers by the Cubs on Dec. 13. The signings of RHPs Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes made Hendiks expendable in Minnesota. Hendriks, 24, made 10 appearances (eight starts) last season with the Twins, going 1-3 with a 6.85 ERA.

Cardinals sign

veteran 2B Mark Ellis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have signed free-agent second baseman Mark Ellis.

The Cardinals announced the one-year deal with the 36-year-old veteran on Monday. Terms were not disclosed.

Ellis is a lifetime .265 hitter for three teams. He hit .270 with six home runs and 48 RBIs for the Dodgers last season, and is considered a strong defensive second baseman.

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