Former Brave outfielder Jeff Francoeur was dropped by the Royals on Saturday and second baseman Johnny Giavotella was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.
By designating the struggling Francoeur for assignment, the Royals cleared more playing time for David Lough and Jarrod Dyson. It's also an attempt to solidify the second-base position, where backups Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada had been playing.
Francoeur was hitting only .208 (28-for-183) with three homers and 13 RBIs this year for the Royals.
Efforts to deal Francoeur apparently failed -- he is in the second year of a contract that pays him $6.75 million in 2013. Now the Royals have 10 days in which to trade him or, if he clears waivers as expected, to release him. If released, the Royals will be liable for the remainder of his salary.
He earned his two-year deal with a strong comeback season with the Royals in 2011, when he batted .285 with 47 doubles, 20 homers and 87 RBIs. He also had a career-high 22 stolen bases
However, he slipped to .235 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs last season.
"Jeff had a great year for us in 2011 and he was solid for us last year, but he had a tough ending," general manager Dayton Moore said. "He didn't get going for us this year. He had some big hits for us this year, won some ballgames for us."
Francoeur had only five hits in his last 31 at-bats, but two of them were game-tying home runs. An outstanding defensive player in right field, Francoeur's three assists this year gave him 119 in his career.
The Royals signed Francoeur as a free agent for the 2011 season after he'd played with the New York Mets and the American League champion Texas Rangers in 2010. He was a highly-touted first-round Draft choice when he broke in with the Atlanta Braves in 2003 and stayed there until being dealt to the Mets in July 2009.
"He's been an incredible teammate and brought a winning attitude every day and made a real positive difference in our community, so he's a winner," Moore said. "He'll be fine."
--- Source: MLB.com