Royals, Jeremy Guthrie Restructure Contract

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.

16 Responses to Royals, Jeremy Guthrie Restructure Contract Leave a Reply

  1. Karkat 2 years ago

    Seems like a pretty mutually-beneficial arrangement. This is a pretty decent idea for teams looking to free up a little payroll space to add one more piece. I’m interested to see who the Royals add with this space. A little more pitching help could make them a serious Wild Card threat.

    • Steve Adams 2 years ago

      I’m thinking it’s just for arbitration purposes more than anything else. They’re already coming in around an $88MM payroll for 2014 including arb guys but not league-minimum players. That puts them in the low-$90MM range, which will easily be a franchise record.

      It’s possible they add someone, but I think this is more about creating flexibility for what they already have.

    • bjsguess 2 years ago

      He’s basically lending $3M to the Royals for 24 months in exchange for $200k.

    • Daniel Wesley 2 years ago

      The Tigers and Indians both have lost talent this offseason, and now Verlander’s injury puts a potential cloud over his season.

      The Royals are one good move away from contending for the division, not just the wild card.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      But it isn’t always a good deal for mid-market teams to be pushing payroll farther into the future.

  2. unclejesse40 2 years ago

    Makes me hope that one more solid pitcher is about to be added.

  3. Christophe Lachance-Tardif 2 years ago

    I am ok that teams restructure a player’s contract once in a while but I hope that Major League Baseball doesn’t become like the NFL. Where way too much contracts are restructured.

    • Mike LaRose 2 years ago

      I was just thinking that, you see it all in the NFL but rarely in the MLB

      • snowbladerp14 2 years ago

        that is because contracts are guaranteed in baseball the only way that a restructure would happen is if the player actually agrees to it where in the NFL they can essentially force a play to accept a restructure

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      This is a totally different type of “restructure.” The player is guaranteed the same money. They basically just agreed to an extension (in the form of a mutual option) and changed WHEN the guaranteed money will come.

      • LazerTown 2 years ago

        Yep. MLBPA typically will put up a fight if the player is going to get less money. They are fine with this, since Guthrie gets more in the end.

  4. Seekrieg 2 years ago

    Dayton Moore’s progression as a small market GM continues with this move. The added space created within the payroll tells me that quietly, the Royals are working on adding another pitching piece. The question is who and where in the rotation will they be able to afford? Payroll is already at a historic high for this club, just how much more the wallet can stretch remains to be seen.

    • Otis26 2 years ago

      By total yes, but in 1990 the Royals had the highest payroll in baseball. In fact for several years they were in the top 5.

  5. LazerTown 2 years ago

    Really didn’t like that deal to begin with. It is way too much money to be paying a backend starter for a midmarket team.

  6. kidkongs 2 years ago

    You don’t see players do this too often. My respect and love for Guthrie has grown each season. A great team player who loves to interact with the fans and has become a great role model for our city. Thank you Jeremy and I look forward to seeing you pitch this year and possibly the next 2.

    • skrockij89 2 years ago

      Players should follow his example in my opinion. Dude is a class act.

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