Tonight at midnight eastern time marks the deadline for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players. Technically, the only players officially under contract with the Royals and on the 40 man roster at the start of the offseason were Joakim Soria, Jeff Francoeur, Aaron Crow, Cuban prospect Noel Arguelles and Billy Butler. The signings of Bruce Chen and Jonathan Broxton added two more and everyone else were still under team control.
After trading Yamaico Navarro for two low-level minor leaguers and trading Rule 5 selection Cesar Cabral for cash, the Royals roster sat at 39. They’ve also announced that they won’t tender a contract to Aaron Laffey, claimed off waivers from the Yankees. That puts them at 38.
Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and the rest of the prospect crew will be tendered contracts and are still under team control. Jonathan Sanchez, acquired from the Giants, is in his last year of arbitration. Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar, Brayan Pena, Chris Getz, Felipe Paulino and Mitch Maier will all be eligible for arbitration this year as well. After being tendered contracts, that will be the next step, as they and the Royals negotiate their 2012 salary with an arbitration hearing deciding the amount if both sides cannot agree after submitting proposals.
It’s worth noting that Dayton Moore has never had a player go to an arbitration hearing, agreeing to terms before that step became necessary.