MIAMI BEACH & — MIAMI BEACH -- The Kansas City Royals today signed free agent Wally Joyner to a one-year contract worth approximately $4 million, giving the Orioles another potential suitor for Randy Milligan. That would be Joyner's former team, the California Angels.
The Orioles met with disappointment yesterday in their initial efforts to trade Milligan to either Montreal or Los Angeles. The Angels have Lee Stevens to replace Joyner, but general manager Whitey Herzog might seek a more established player.
It still would be a difficult match, for the Angels yesterday traded lefthander Kyle Abbott and outfielder Ruben Amaro to Philadelphia for outfielder Von Hayes. Abbott surely would have been coveted by the Orioles.
Joyner, 29, batted .301 last season with 21 homers and 96 RBIs after three straight years of decline. His acquisition should end the Royals' pursuit of the Chicago Cubs' Mark Grace and New York Mets' Dave Magadan in deals for righthander Kevin Appier.
Joyner broke into tears at a news conference, pausing repeatedly to collect his thoughts. "I've enjoyed my time with the California Angels. That's where Wally World started," he said. "It was probably the toughest decision I've made."
Joyner can become a free agent again after next season. The Royals could have kept him simply by offering him salary arbitration five days after the end of the World Series, but they waived that right.