The Royals and Jeremy Guthrie have restructured the final two years of Guthrie's three-year, $25MM contract, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Guthrie had been slated to earn $11MM in 2014 and $9MM in 2015 but will now earn $8MM this coming season, $9MM in 2015 and have a $10MM mutual option added to his contract for 2016, Sherman reports. That option comes with a $3.2MM buyout, meaning that Guthrie is essentially guaranteed the same amount of money, but the Royals have some additional payroll flexibility for the 2014 campaign.
Guthrie posted a 4.04 ERA in a career-high 211 2/3 innings last year -- his first full season with the Royals. He was originally acquired from the Rockies in a 2012 change-of-scenery deal that sent Jonathan Sanchez to Colorado. That trade worked out considerably better for the Royals than the Rockies, as Guthrie posted a 3.16 ERA in 91 innings for the Royals in 2012. That success led to his three-year, $25MM contract last offseason.
Though Guthrie's ERA was solid, it wasn't without red flags. The 34-year-old's 4.7 K/9 rate was the lowest of his career, as was his 91.8 mph average fastball. ERA estimators like FIP (4.79), xFIP (4.55) and SIERA (4.79) all feel that Guthrie had a substantial amount of good fortune last season. The Royals will need him to continue to outperform those metrics with the likely subtraction of Ervin Santana from their rotation.