Royal Deal

(AP) Kansas City, MO. ALL EDITIONS. SP-MO141

The Royals traded two young stars and Relish, the third of their three Heinz condiment mascots, in a sign and trade deal on Tuesday afternoon.

“We had some signability concerns with Relish,” said Dayton Moore. “And, oh yeah, Soria and Butler, we’re gonna miss them, too. The Pirates wanted a throw-in, and we had a few. The details just worked themselves out from there.”

In return, the Royals are going to get the future stream of payments generated by baseball’s revenue-sharing agreement that were destined for the Pirates. The Royals will get payouts for the next five years, ending in 2014. The value of the payments could reach as much as $150 million. In 2006, the Pirates received $25 million.

They also get a player to be named later. Rumors are that it will be Randall Simon. If so, manager Trey Hillman already knows that he’ll fit in, filling a spot at first base for the Royals.

David Glass was not in his stadium suite on Tuesday, but was reached by telephone.

“Oh, yeah,” he said, “we’re on the five-year plan now!”

Speaking from the Flora-bama, Glass reiterated that there were plenty of good ways for the owner of a major league sports franchise to spend an extra $25 million.

With regard to Butler and Soria, Glass acknowledged that some fans might be unhappy.

“There’s bound to be some people who get emotional about some players,” said Glass. “But its just like it was in ’01 with Dye and Beltran, where we were just one or two more players away…from getting enough fan support to lose our gold mine.”

The Royals already hinted at big plans for the extra revenue. Moore intimated that the agreement would give the Royals room to sign more than a few current Royals to longer contracts.

“Betancourt and Crisp, for sure,” he said. They’ve got options and I knew when we traded for them that we’d need to be creative. Now we can lock up some players for a long time. Players, might I add, who know how to be aggressive at the plate.”

“This is great,” said Hillman. “We’ve already got a hot dog in right field. I think we all know, though, that we’ve been playing without relish on the field for a long time. Why do we need him in the stands?”

The transaction will have to be approved by the commissioner’s office. Commissioner Selig is yet to make a public pronouncement. However, unnamed sources indicate that he is fine with the Royals having a double stream of payments, provided that they do not use the money to sign any players above slot.

Relish is second to Mustard with 21 first place finishes this year.

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