The Royals ridded themselves of one potential off-season headache by signing center fielder Carlos Beltran to a one-year deal. Beltran was up for arbitration, but the team and Beltran’s agent were able to agree to a contract paying him $9-million in 2004. He made $6-million last season, hitting .307 with 25 homers, 100 RBI’s 102 runs and 41 bases to lead the club in all five categories. The bigger question is whether or not they’ll be able to keep him past the upcoming season. He’ll become a free agent and will most likely require a paycheck larger than the Royals can afford. They weren’t able to come to terms with pitcher Darrell May who led the team in wins last season. He’s the team’s only other arbitration-eligible player.
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