Getz returns to Royals with one-year deal
Second baseman expected to compete with Giavotella for job
KANSAS CITY -- Second baseman Chris Getz is on board with the Royals for 2013, hoping for a much healthier ride this time.
Getz agreed on Friday to a one-year contract for $1.05 million with a chance for an additional $150,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. Last year, Getz made $967,500.
The deal avoided salary arbitration for Getz. Pitcher Felipe Paulino agreed to a deal on Thursday, leaving pitcher Luke Hochevar as the only other arbitration-eligible Royal unsigned. Club officials indicated that Hochevar and all other unsigned players on the 40-man roster would receive contract offers before Friday's 10:59 p.m. CT deadline.
Last season, Getz couldn't stay on the field, going on the disabled list three times and playing just 64 games for Kansas City. He went on the DL on May 22 with a left rib cage bruise, on June 18 with a lateral strain of the left leg, and on Aug. 18 with a fractured left thumb. The last injury, caused as he was struck by a pitch while attempting a bunt against the White Sox's Chris Sale, resulted in surgery that ended Getz's season.
Getz, who lives in Chicago, visited Kansas City this week to have the thumb examined.
"Everything checked out well," Getz said. "It's been really good. Mobility at about 95 percent and the strength is 100 percent. I've already begun to hit and catch -- a few important things that you have to do -- and it hasn't hindered my workouts at all. So all is good."
When the thumb was broken, Getz had just taken over as the Royals' regular second baseman after the club dropped Yuniesky Betancourt, with whom he'd shared the position earlier. With Getz out, the team recalled Johnny Giavotella and those two are expected to compete for the second-base job in Spring Training.
"I'm excited, as usual," Getz said. "Yeah, we'll be competing out there just like we did last year and I'll just be as prepared as possible."
Getz, who showed more batting pop in Spring Training, finished his abbreviated season with a .275 average, 10 doubles, three triples and 17 RBIs. He also swiped nine bases in 12 attempts. In his 55 starts, the Royals had a winning record, 30-25.
He's always considered an excellent defensive player, but Getz also was anticipating a good season at the plate.
"You kind of know if you're going to be around .300 and there are other years where you're kind of inconsistent and battling to be around .250," he said. "That was the hardest part, because I felt I was having one of those around-.300 years, but I just kept being knocked down by injuries."
Obtained from the White Sox along with infielder Josh Fields in a Nov. 5, 2009, trade for infielder-outfielder Mark Teahen, Getz's KC career has been rather bumpy. In 2010, he was out early on with a strained oblique and his season ended on Sept. 12 when he was hit in the head by a thrown ball that caused a concussion. He played just 72 games that season. In 2011, he was in 118 games with a .255 average and 21 stolen bases but played little after Aug. 5 when Giavotella was called up. Then came injury-plagued 2012.
Getz, 29, was a fourth-round Draft pick by the White Sox in 2005 out of the University of Michigan.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.