(NEW YORK) — The Kansas City Royals are hoping to become more competitive in 2013. After finishing 72-90 last season, 16 games back of the American League Champion Detroit Tigers, the Royals want to get off to a hot start in April.
During the offseason the Royals traded for James Shields, who spent seven seasons with the Rays. Shields will bring veteran leadership to a young Royals roster.
“I’m excited,” Shields told ESPN. “Every time I faced this young squad when I was with Tampa, I never wanted to face this team. They’re so talented and they can definitely hit the ball.”
But are there high expectations for him and the team?
“Obviously we want to win, it’s all about winning now,” Shields said.
Another pitcher joining the Royals staff will be Ervin Santana who was traded by the Angels to Kansas City during the offseason.
Outfielder Jeff Francoeur says with two top pitchers in the rotation and a young talented ball club, they’re ready to compete this year. “We’re here to win now,” Francoeur said.
The Royals will open up their season on the road on April 1st against the White Sox.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN