The Royals are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:
Eligible For Free Agency (4)
- Jonathan Sanchez - The Royals were hoping for more from Sanchez, who struggled on the mound before hitting the disabled list earlier this month. However, they are short on MLB-ready starting pitching depth.
- Yuniesky Betancourt - The Royals appear to value Betancourt's ability to play multiple infield positions. He'll likely be in line for another one-year deal next offseason.
- Jonathan Broxton - Broxton has pitched effectively for the Royals, even though he doesn't have the swing-and-miss stuff he once did. It's not hard to imagine a reunion, but Broxton will have other offseason suitors.
- Humberto Quintero - Assuming Salvador Perez recovers from his knee injury, and Brayan Pena returns, the Royals would be set behind the plate. None of Kansas City's free agents should expect offseason qualifying offers from the team.
Contract Options (1)
- Joakim Soria: $8MM club option with a $750K buyout. This won't be an easy decision for the Royals, since their longtime closer will miss the 2012 season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. For what it's worth, Soria has said he would like to stay in Kansas City.
Arbitration Eligible (8)
- First time: Blake Wood, Jason Bourgeois
- Second time: Mitch Maier, Jose Mijares, Chris Getz
- Third time: Luke Hochevar, Felipe Paulino, Brayan Pena
The Royals have worked aggressively to extend some of their young position players and others aren't yet arbitration eligible, so next offseason's class should be relatively manageable. Hochevar and Paulino are getting expensive, but Mijares could be traded. Bourgeois could miss the cutoff for eligibility, depending on how long he remains in the minor leagues. Wood will be eligible even though he's missing the entire season to undergo Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.
2013 Payroll Obligation
The Royals have committed just shy of $35MM to next year's team, not counting Soria's option or arb-eligible players going year to year. If ownership is willing to maintain a payroll in the $65MM range, GM Dayton Moore should be well-positioned to pursue some second-tier free agents this coming offseason.