Royals, 1B Ryan O'Hearn reach $1.4M deal, avoid arbitration

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals and first baseman Ryan O'Hearn agreed to a $1.4 million contract to avoid salary arbitration Tuesday as part of a flurry of moves that set the club's 40-man roster ahead of the deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft.

O'Hearn, who made $1.3 million last season, can earn up to $250,000 in bonuses. He hit just .239 with one homer and 16 RBIs in 67 games while ceding playing time last season to Nick Pratto and Vinnie Pasquantino.

The Royals selected the contracts of right-hander Alec Marsh, catcher Freddy Fermin and outfielder Diego Hernandez to protect them from the draft. Marsh was just 2-16 with a 6.88 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A last season, while Fermin hit .270 in 87 games at Triple-A and Hernandez batted .287 at Class-A and Double-A.

The Royals designated left-hander Jake Brentz, right-hander Nate Webb and outfielder Brent Rooker for assignment.