CHICAGO (AP) -- As the Kansas City Royals added to their roster during the offseason, Billy Butler was glad the team embraced the task at hand instead of eyeing the future.
The Royals are in a win-now mode and believe they are poised to make a big jump in the AL Central starting with Monday's opener against the Chicago White Sox.
"There's no reason we shouldn't be better," Butler said Sunday. "How much better that is? I'm not a mind reader. I'm not a projector. ... Our talent's higher than it's ever been since I've been here."
After going 72-90 for their 17th losing season in 18 years, they believe they're ready to become a winner.
"We're still young, we're still growing," manager Ned Yost said. "We're going to have ups and we're going to have downs, but I think we're in a much better position to be successful this year just because of the maturity factor."
Kansas City appears to have improved. The Royals re-signed Jeremy Guthrie after he dazzled in a short stint with them last season, and they acquired Ervin Santana from the Los Angeles Angels. The deal for Tampa Bay's James Shields cost them top prospect Wil Myers.
"That's the first time we've ever made a move to help out the big league team," Butler said. "Usually, we're stocking the system. Our big league team's gotten to the point where we needed to make a move to help out the big league team because we have talent and we needed to trade some prospects for major league. It doesn't get more exciting than that."