Notes: Greinke, Teahen avoid arbitration

Notes: Greinke, Teahen avoid arbitration

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Back in October, the Royals faced the daunting prospect of 12 players eligible for salary arbitration. Now that number has been reduced to zero.

Two of the biggest names on that list, outfielder Mark Teahen and pitcher Zack Greinke, agreed to one-year contracts, the Royals announced on Thursday.

That means no Royals players will go through the often contentious process of a salary arbitration hearing this year. Teahen's hearing had been set for Feb. 13, Greinke's for Feb. 18.

Teahen had the biggest gap between the exchanged numbers; he wanted $2.9 million and the Royals offered $1.9 million. He said he settled for $2,337,500, less than the $2.4 million midpoint.

"But I get $50,000 when I make the All-Star team, so I'm just going to do that," he said.

Teahen said he expects to arrive at camp in about a week.

Greinke had asked for $1.8 million and the team offered $1.15 million. The sides are believed to have settled for about $1.4 million.

"I just let my agent deal with it. He said he got a good deal for me and so I said it sounds good," Greinke said from Kansas City.

"I'm coming to Spring Training tomorrow. I'm driving down."

Pitchers aren't required to report until next Wednesday. The reporting date for position players other than catchers is Feb. 18.

Wedding bells: They chimed Jan. 18 in Hawaii for pitcher Kyle Davies and the former Katie Wentzel. They've been sweethearts since their junior year in high school at Stockbridge, Ga.

"I figured I'd better get to it. I made her wait long enough," Davies said.

Stringing along: When pitchers got to the bullpen area on Thursday, they found a yellow string stretched out on each side of the mound.

It's a teaching device that pitching advisor Bill Fischer picked up in the Dominican Republic. It helps pitchers visualize how straight they're striding toward home plate. It's optional but pitching coach Bob McClure noted that Gil Meche and others were very willing to try it.

"Balance, alignment and how you land can solve a lot of problems," McClure said.

Mouths of babes: Pitcher Jimmy Gobble's son, Porter, will be 2 in July and he's already old enough to sense why daddy left home the other day.

"Da-da," Porter asked, "Ball?"

Porter, full of energy, puts on dad's glove and rolls him a baseball both right- and left-handed.

"I'd prefer him to be left," said southpaw Gobble. "Right now he's ambidextrous. He's got it all."

Porter and mom Julie are scheduled to arrive here on Friday.

How's that? Royals manager Trey Hillman spoke to the dreamers attending the Royals Fantasy Camp on Wednesday.

When he asked for questions, there was a long pause so Royals alum Joe Randa decided to break the ice.

"Where is Jose Guillen going to play?" Randa asked.

Randa, "the Joker" who always knew how to stir the pot, knew that Guillen had balked at playing left field as Hillman had planned.

"He gave a good answer," Randa reported.

The final answer, of course, will be decided during the course of camp as Hillman ponders which corners will be manned by Guillen and Teahen.

Artists colony: Pitcher Brian Bannister, who's been known to whip up some excellent sketches, will have a fellow artist in camp when Brett Tomko arrives.

"When we signed him, I said, 'Ah, we have another artist,'" Bannister said.

In fact, Bannister already has some Tomko pencil drawings in his personal collection. He obtained them from a San Francisco framer who had some of Tomko's work that was done when he was with the Giants.

"They say he even draws in the dugout," Bannister said.

Medical moves: Jeff Stevenson, the Triple-A Omaha trainer for the last nine seasons, has been added to the club's Major League staff as an assistant athletic trainer. His spot at Omaha will be taken by Drew Van Dam, who comes from the Braves' organization.

Jeff Blum, who's also been with the Braves, was named the Royals' physical therapist. He and Stevenson join head athletic trainer Nick Swartz, in his 32nd season with the KC organization, and assistant athletic trainer Frank Kyte, in his 20th season.

Opening Day lottery: In an effort to give all fans the chance to obtain tickets for the home opener on April 8 against the Yankees, the Royals have announced an online lottery.

To be eligible, fans must register online by noon on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Winners of a chance to purchase up to two tickets will be notified by March 3.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.