Mere days after adding famed fast man Billy Hamilton to the team, the Kansas City Royals have signed Terrance Gore to a one-year deal that will bring him back to the Royals organization after a brief adventure in the 2018 postseason as a Chicago Cub.
The deal is a Major League deal, and according to Jeffrey Flanagan’s excellent reporting at MLB.com, Gore will make $650,000 if he makes the Major League roster or $350,000 if he is sent to the minors, and he will have an additional $100,000 available in performance bonuses.
This is an unusual guarantee for a player with one career base hit in five big league seasons. While it is too early to divine the Royals’ thought process here, the hefty salary placed on the MiLB side of things suggests that the Royals are interested in keeping Gore primarily as depth, but had to offer a decent chunk of money so that they could keep him in their system.
Gore is out also out of options, meaning with a Major League deal he would have to either make the club or clear waivers to be sent to Omaha. The Royals already have Alex Gordon, BIlly Hamilton, and Jorge Soler likely to start in the outfield with Brian Goodwin backing them up. Goodwin is out of options, while outfielders Brett Phillips and Jorge Bonifacio still have an option year remaining.
Regardless, the Royals are doubling and tripling down on speed and athleticism with Gore’s signing. Gore is 27-for-31 in stolen bases in the regular season and 5 for 6 in the postseason. His outfield defense is also superb, albeit with his limited arm strength—though that is certainly secondary to range and catching ability.
Kansas City designated Rosell Herrera for assignment to open a spot for Gore on the 40-man roster. The 26-year old hit .238/.292/.325 in 75 games with the Royals after being claimed off waivers from the Reds and was a 1 WAR player with them, according to Baseball Reference.