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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.