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Royals add former player Sweeney to front office

- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Mike Sweeney will get another chance to help the Royals make the playoffs.

Their longtime first baseman and arguably one of the most popular players in Royals history was hired Friday as club's special assistant to baseball operations. Sweeney will help at spring training and assist general manager Dayton Moore and others on various projects.

"We're thrilled as an organization that Mike will be joining our baseball operations department," Moore said. "He's a tremendous leader and I'm confident that he will impact our players and staff in positive way."

Sweeney was a five-time All-Star for the Royals, and the cornerstone of the franchise from 1995-2007. He was a career .297 hitter who finished with 215 homers and 909 RBIs, even though he dealt with persistent back trouble that caused him to miss long stretches of time.

He played briefly with Oakland, Seattle and Philadelphia before retiring in 2010.

Sweeney still holds the Royals record with 144 RBIs during the 2000 season, and narrowly missed the American League batting title when he hit .340 in 2002. He ranks in the top six in franchise history in 17 offensive categories, including batting average and home runs.

After his retirement, Sweeney was hired as a studio analyst for MLB Network. He's also been busy with the Mike and Shara Sweeney Foundation, a faith-based organization centered on youth.

"It's a great honor to have played in the Kansas City organization for 20 years," Sweeney said. "The only thing I was unable to accomplish during my playing days was to bring October baseball back to Kansas City. With this new position, my goal is to do as much as I can to help the Royals get back to being one of the prized organizations in baseball."

Notes: Also on Friday, the Royals secured outright waivers on left-hander Everett Teaford and assigned him to Triple-A Omaha with an invitation to spring training. Teaford was designated for assignment on Jan. 29, when the Royals acquired right fielder Carlos Peguero from Seattle.

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