KC, Bannister agree to one-year deal

KC, Bannister agree to one-year deal

KANSAS CITY -- Pitcher Brian Bannister agreed to a one-year contract with the Royals on Tuesday night, avoiding salary arbitration.

Bannister signed for the midpoint figure, $1.7375 million, between the two salaries submitted. He asked for $2.025 million, and the Royals countered with $1.45 million. Last season his salary was $421,000.

Bannister, in 32 starts last season, had a 9-16 record and 5.76 ERA. His 16 losses were the fourth-most in the Major Leagues. He got out of the gates with a 3-0 start and a 0.86 ERA before tailing off. Bannister won two of his last three starts during the Royals' 18-8 September.

"He was our best pitcher in April ... and finished strong in September. And he's capable of giving us 200 innings," said Royals general manager Dayton Moore. "He's very prepared, and we expect him to perform much, much better in 2009."

Last season was disappointing after his superb rookie year of 2007, when he was 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA. Bannister was acquired prior to that season in a trade with the Mets for pitcher Ambiorix Burgos.

The Royals have two arbitration cases pending with outfielder/infielder Mark Teahen and first baseman Mike Jacobs. The other player to file, pitcher Zack Greinke, signed a four-year, $38 million contract.

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