Royals avoid arbitration with Herrera, Karns

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The Kansas City Royals avoided salary arbitration with two players Friday, agreeing to terms with right-handers Kelvin Herrera and Nate Karns on contracts for the 2018 season.

The Royals’ only other arbitration-eligible player, pitcher Brandon Maurer, remains unsigned.

Herrera, 28, went 3-3 with a 4.25 ERA and 26 saves in 31 opportunities last season, when he was the team’s closer for most of the year.

Karns’ 2017 season, his first in Kansas City, ended when he was placed on the disabled list May 24 with nerve irritation in his pitching arm. Karns, 30, went 2-2 with a 4.17 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts) for the Royals.