The Kansas City Royals have agreed to terms with the last of their pre-arbitration eligible players so every one is under contract for the 2019 season.
For players who have procured less than three years of service time, they are not arbitration eligible. There is a lot of legal jargon to be said about this, but the gist of it that players are very cheap during this time frame.
Some of these signings rolled in a few days earlier on February 22, the Royals came to terms with six other players. These players were Kelvin Gutierrez, Ben Lively, Jorge Bonifacio, Brian Goodwin, Brett Phillips and Cam Gallagher.
These arbitration rules allow teams to keep talent for cheap, which is good for them. That is where a lot of talk about a ‘competitive window’ comes into play because they can afford to put tons of top level talent on the roster without paying them a whole lot.
We also see the flip side of this rule when it comes to top prospects getting the the MLB when they are ready. Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield chimed in on the negative effects of this system recently.
There is a date each year where teams can call up their top prospects without them procuring a whole year of service time. That means the team gets to keep their top talent for an extra year. It is happening with Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The rules are up for debate because it seems the system is broken. It is not the owners fault that they figured out how to take advantage of it. In fact, it is just good business on their part.
The system may be broken, but it is where the game is. With the Kansas City Royals grooming their next wave of talent, they will be trying to time out the big payouts to current stars and the ones they are grooming in the farm system. It is one big guessing game.
But for now, nine pre-arbitration eligible players are under contract for the 2019 season, and they will hope to make an impact. If they can do that, they will prove their worth come their arbitration time, and they will be able to make more money. Especially budding superstars like Mondesi.