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Baseball notebook

Pitcher Shields traded to Royals

– The Kansas City Royals have slowly and methodically allowed their top prospects to climb through their farm system in recent years, piecing together a team they believe can compete in the wide-open American League Central.

All that’s been missing has been the pitching.

They dipped into the farm system to solve that problem, too.

The Royals sent top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi along with two other minor leaguers to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday night for former All-Star James Shields and fellow right-hander Wade Davis, making an aggressive move to bolster a rotation that was one of the worst in the major leagues last season.

“We have to start winning games at the major league level, and the way you develop a winning culture is by winning major league games,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “It’s time for us to start winning at the major league level.”

Despite the matriculation of their best prospects to the big league club, the Royals still struggled to a 72-90 record and a third-place finish in the weak AL Central last season.

“The Royals are definitely on the right track,” Shields said Monday. “They definitely remind me of our ’07 season going into our ’08 season in the Rays organization, and I think there’s a good possibility we can step in that direction. I’ve been there when we’ve lost 100 games before. I’ve also won 96, 97 games before, and I think me and Wade bring a little of that to the table, knowing how to win and what it takes to win.”

Indians get slugger

A person familiar with the negotiations said Sunday night that Cleveland agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent slugger Mark Reynolds. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is pending a physical.

Reynolds would likely take over at first base for Cleveland, but he also could be used as the designated hitter.

Reynolds hit 23 homers last season for Baltimore. Last season, Carlos Santana led the club with 18 homers.

Around the leagues

Left fielder Ryan Ludwick signed a two-year, $15 million deal to stay with Cincinnati. He agreed to the deal over the weekend. It includes a mutual option for the 2015 season. …

Infielder Jeff Keppinger signed a three-year $12 million contract with the White Sox. He agreed to the deal last week. …

Detroit agreed to a one-year contract with catcher Brayan Pena, who played last season with Kansas City.

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