The Royals have decided to take a chance former stolen-base leader Brian L. Hunter, signing him to a minor league contract. Hunter led the American League in steals in 1997 and 1999 but his career slumped after a series of injuries. In stints with the Astros, Tigers, Mariners Rockies, Reds and Phillies, Hunter has a .264 batting average. He signed a deal with the Cardinals but was cut in spring training. In 20 minor league games, Hunter hit .200.