The Royals announced that they have exercised their $7MM club option on right-hander Wade Davis for next season. Davis is represented by Jet Sports Management.
While $7MM is a lot of money for a smaller-market team like Kansas City to pay to a setup man, Davis was such a key part of the Royals’ recent success that exercising his option was a virtual no-brainer. In fact, the move actually saved K.C. a bit of money — Davis would’ve still been eligible for arbitration had the option been declined, and MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projected that Davis would’ve been line for a $7.6MM salary in 2015 via the arbitration process.
Davis posted one of the best relief seasons in history in 2014, posting a 1.00 ERA, 4.74 K/BB rate and a 13.6 K/9 over 72 innings. The late-game “Law Firm” of Kelvin Herrera, Davis and closer Greg Holland was a big reason the Royals made it to Game 7 of the World Series. Herrera and Holland are both arbitration-eligible this winter and will also command big salaries, so it’s an open question as to how long K.C. can afford to keep this trio at the back of its bullpen.
Davis originally signed his four-year, $12.6MM extension in February 2011 when he was a highly-touted starting pitching prospect in the Rays organization. His deal also contains an $8MM club option for 2016 and a $10MM club option for 2017, with the latter carrying a $2.5MM buyout. He came to the Royals along with James Shields in the 2012-13 offseason as part of the much-talked about trade that sent Wil Myers and other prospects to Tampa.