Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Avoid Arbitration with Eric Hosmer, Luke Hochevar, & Emilio Bonifacio


According to reports, the Royals have signed Eric Hosmer, Luke Hochevar, and Emilio Bonifacio to one-year contracts to avoid arbitration. Hosmer signed for $3.6 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. That amount is actually about $500K less than what MLB Trade Rumors had projected, so that certainly appears to be a good deal for the Royals. If Hosmer repeats his 2013 season, or improves upon it, he could be looking at a much larger paycheck in 2015. Pete Grathoff adds that Hosmer could make an extra $50K if he is an All Star this season.

Also according to Sherman, Hochevar will make $5.21 million in 2014, with an additional $400K in bonuses available. Projections had his salary pegged at an even $5 million, so it seems that some of the savings from Hosmer’s contract went directly to the Royals’ potential setup man. It’s still possible the team attempts to trade Hochevar before the season – which, again, is a move I would love to see – since paying over $5 million for 60-70 innings isn’t the best use of resources when other holes exist on the roster.

As for Bonifacio, he’ll be making $3.5 million this season, per Jon Heyman, slightly more than the $3.3 million MLB Trade Rumors predicted. Much like Hochevar, the Royals could consider shopping Bonifacio in the coming months, so they aren’t paying that kind of money for a utility player. I’m guessing they keep him around since he has such terrific versatility off the bench, but he has generated some trade interest this winter, so the organization could probably find a team to take him if the front office wanted to cut a bit of payroll.

Today at 12 pm was the deadline for teams and players to submit their respective salary figures, although that doesn’t mean an arbitration hearing is guaranteed for Aaron Crow, Justin Maxwell, or Greg Holland. Players and teams have up until February to negotiate. I would expect all three players to sign prior to the hearings, since both sides are often best-served to avoid any kind of nasty arbitration process.

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Tags: Emilio Bonifacio Eric Hosmer Kansas City Royals Luke Hochevar

  • unclejesse40

    Hunter I asked Dave but wanted to get your feelings on moving Crow down to AAA and having him go back to the rotation. With all the organizational depth in the bullpen doesn’t it make sense to see if he can transition back? Not predicting that the transition will go well but I think it is worth a look.

    • Hunter Samuels

      I guess it could happen, but Crow is SO reliant on just the 2 pitches, I think it would be really hard to try and all of a sudden start developing another pitch. He’s also going to be making about $2M this year, so it may not be wise to spend that on a guy who will be in AAA most of the year. I think it would’ve been best to try the move back to a starter after 2011, but now they’re probably better off leaving him as is, unless they can trade him.

      • jimfetterolf

        Crow has gotten a little undependable and can be easily replaced by Coleman, but still has upside as a starter. Either a change or sinker should be teachable. Crow’s FB appears to have deteriorated in value.

        • unclejesse40

          I agree Jim. I would like to see Crow back in the rotation. We wasted more than 2 million dollars on Arguelles waiting on him. Give Crow a year and after that time if he hasn’t shown improvement than bring him back in to the pen. I would add that I would want player buy in before I would ever try this. If he doesn’t want to try I wouldn’t waste his time or the teams.

          • jimfetterolf

            I think Crow buys in, due to his competitive nature and for financial reasons. He sees what his old buddy Max Scherzer is doing and that would get him motivated on both factors.

            Aaron Crow talked to Lee Judge a few years ago and Lee, knowing how to get a pitcher to talk, asked Crow to show him his change up grip. Aaron showed him three different ones and Lee asked him why he had three grips. Crow chuckled and said, “Because none of them work.” If Crow could get a change that moved hand side and dropped it could be deadly, as his slider comes in 10mph slower than the heater and his change is the same speed, so it could be effectively a reverse slider for him.

          • KCMOWHOA

            Why would they force Crow into the rotation at this stage? Wouldn’t they just give the fifth spot to Davis or Hoch? Honestly, they’ll probably just use Davis until they can bring up Ventura. It makes no sense to pay a guy with two pitches that much money to return to the minors, as Hunter has noted. They’d trade him before they did that.

          • jimfetterolf

            Nobody is suggesting that Crow join the KC rotation this year, rather that he go to Omaha to transition. Crow’s value has slipped a certain amount and the minors would be a chance to reclaim some value. As is, wouldn’t get much in trade and would probably have to eat salary to get rid of him.

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