Royals only promising to 'Come To Play' in 2013

No brash promises this year from the Royals, not even after overhauling their battered rotation in the offseason.

The club’s 2013 slogan, announced Monday, is “Come To Play,” which is notable primarily for its toned-down expectations after a 12-game losing streak last April turned 2012’s “Our Time” theme into a punchline.

“The idea behind it is a dual thing,” said Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president for community affairs and publicity. “We want to communicate that every one of our guys, every game, will come to play – ready to give it their all.

“The secondary idea behind it is that it’s an invitation for fans that when they come to the ballpark, they need to be prepared to play – to get involved in it. We’re all in this together.”

This year’s slogan, developed in consultation with Kansas City-based ad agency Walz Tetrick, seeks to focus on the game-day experience. It will be used throughout the year in various marketing opportunities.

“Nothing beats going out to the K to be part of the Major League experience,” said Charlie Tetrick, the ad agency’s president. “With the offseason additions, this year’s team is a great combination of youth, experience and leadership. Every pitch is an opportunity for something exciting and unexpected to happen.”

The television ads, which began airing this week, highlight what Cook termed a “heart-and-hustle approach.”

“And by the way,” he said, “we’ve got this fairly newly renovated stadium where you can also do all of the neat things in the Outfield Experience.”

Pitchers and catchers report next Monday to the Royals’ year-round complex in Surprise, Ariz. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 15, and the club opens its Cactus League schedule on Feb. 22. The regular-season opener is April 1 in Chicago.

Giants claim Abreu

Utility infielder Tony Abreu is joining the World Series champions.

The San Francisco Giants claimed Abreu, 28, on outright waivers Monday afternoon from the Royals, who designated him for assignment Jan. 25 in order to clear roster space after claiming backup catcher George Kottaras on waivers from Oakland.

Abreu, a switch-hitter, batted .257 with a .284 on-base percentage in 22 games after the Royals selected his contract on Aug. 5 from Class AAA Omaha, where he batted .322 with a .347 OBP in 103 games.

The Royals signed Abreu on Dec. 1, 2011 as a minor-league free agent after he spent the entire previous season at Class AAA Reno in the Arizona system. He has a .252 career average, and a .280 OBP, in 168 games over parts of four big-league seasons.

Abreu became expendable Dec. 31 when the Royals signed infielder Miguel Tejada presumably to be their utility infielder. Irving Falu, another candidate for the job, has options remaining. Abreu is out of options.

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