Reuters

Mike Moustakas’ return to the Kansas City Royals is official.

The team announced the signing of the third baseman to a one-year contract with a mutual option for the 2019 season on Saturday. Moustakas will make $6.5 million guaranteed on the deal and have the chance to make $22.7 million over two seasons, according to multiple reports. His 2019 option is worth $15 million and includes a $1 million buyout, and he can earn an additional $2.2 million through performance incentives.

“What he means to our clubhouse, what he means to our staff, what he means to me personally, (his wife, Stephanie) and his family, that’s what makes it special,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said Saturday, via the Kansas City Star. “Baseball is not a business to me. Is there a business side of it? Yes. But to me it’s about players that have a heart to win and a heart to compete and just love playing baseball. Mike Moustakas exemplifies that.”

Moustakas, 29, hit .272 with a franchise-record 38 home runs in 148 games last season. The two-time All-Star has a .251 career average and 119 home runs across his seven seasons with the Royals.

Moustakas could have received $17.4 million this season by signing a qualifying offer from the Royals in November at the outset of free agency. Because he received the qualifying offer, any team signing him would’ve been forced to part with a high draft pick.

Moustakas told reporters Saturday that he expects to be ready for Opening Day.

“To have an opportunity to come back to Kansas City and play baseball again, it was a no-doubter, a no-brainer for me to be able to come back here and be with a guy that trusts in me and trusts in my ability and be with a team that I trust in and a training staff that I’m comfortable with,” Moustakas said.

“I believe in everybody in this clubhouse, I believe in everybody in this organization. So it was a very easy decision to be able to come back here and play baseball for this organization.”

In a corresponding move, Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio was placed on the restricted list. The 24-year-old was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Boldenone.

–Field Level Media

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