The Kansas City Royals have started talking to first baseman Mike Sweeney about a long-term contract. Sweeney has said he won’t negotiate once the season starts, leaving the two sides about two weeks to reach an agreement. Sweeney and General Manager Allard Baird tell the Kansas City Star initial talks have gone well. Sweeney will be a free agent after this season, unless the Royals lock him up in a long-term deal. He’s making $8-million this season, which is a relative bargain, considering his productivity. The Royals have been hesitant to spend money on long-term contracts for young players in the past, letting Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye go to other teams when they possibly could have been signed for less than market value. But Sweeney is a better hitter than both of those players, and the Royals say they want to keep him in Kansas City.
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