Royals sign Francoeur to two-year extension

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jeff Francoeur signed with the Kansas City Royals in the offseason hoping for a chance to prove that he could be an everyday player. He agreed to a contract extension Thursday because he succeeded.

The Royals announced the two-year extension shortly before opening a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox. It should keep the 27-year-old right fielder with the club through the 2013 season, when those within the organization expect the youngest roster in the majors to be competing for championships.

“We have enough pieces in place, and hopefully guys to come, that hopefully this will turn around quick. We’re in a division where you don’t have to win 95, 96 games a year,” Francoeur said. “We’re in a good division to hopefully finish this season strong and play well next season. And for me, I want to be a part of that, I do. I want to be part of when this thing turns around and Kansas city starts winning again. I want to say I was here.”

It’s been a while since someone said that in baseball’s backwaters.

Kansas City hasn’t finished better than third in its division since 1995, and that includes a stretch of three consecutive seasons from 2004-06 in which the franchise lost 100 games. But with the arrival of general manager Dayton Moore, the Royals began to restock the farm system and add some key free agents.

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