The Royals and second baseman Chris Getz agreed to a one-year deal for 2013 this afternoon to avoid arbitration. Getz will make $1.05 million with $150,000 possible in bonuses for performance incentives.
That puts Getz and Johnny Giavotella back into competition for the second base job this spring. Getz battled various injuries last year and only played in 64 games, but his 85 OPS+ was a career best. He made contact regularly and was showing a little extra pop than we’ve come to expect from him. Giavotella struggled in sporadic appearances at the big league level, but the Royals haven’t expressed much concern about his bat. His defense was fine in the second half.
On the outside looking in for the job are Irving Falu and Tony Abreu. Both saw a fair amount of action late last season and can play multiple positions, but neither would be considered front-runners. A longshot for the second base job is Christian Colon, who barely got a taste of Triple A last year before breaking a bone in his face on a foul ball ricochet and missing the rest of the year. If he impresses in spring training, he’d also have to be added to the 40 man roster, necessitating someone being moved off, so he’ll be a mid-season option at best unless the Royals get ravaged by injuries.
As for Getz, he’ll bring a lot of contact, good speed and decent defense to the party (though I think the Royals overrate his defensive contributions). He’s not one for much power (his last home run came in 2009 with the White Sox). If he doesn’t win the second base job, he’ll be a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch runner. MLB Trade Rumors projected Getz for a $1.2 million deal for 2013.
The Royals now have just one player left who isn’t either under contract or with a tendered deal (and who isn’t in their pre-arbitration team control years): Luke Hochevar. The deadline is midnight tonight (eastern time). He’s projected for $4.4 million in salary. Most expect him to be non-tendered and dropped off the 40 man roster, but as Jon Morosi has pointed out, the Royals could have non-tendered Kyle Davies back in the day and didn’t.