The Royals have won their arbitration hearing over infielder Nicky Lopez, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (Twitter link). Lopez will earn $2.55MM in salary for the 2022 season, instead of the $2.95MM he was seeking in his first trip through the arb process.
Lopez has somewhat quietly established himself as an everyday player in Kansas City, despite the presence of other more heralded infielders in the Royals’ system. Adalberto Mondesi’s injury struggles opened the door for Lopez to get regular work in the Royals’ middle infield mix, and Lopez’s excellent glovework earned him a Gold Glove nomination as a second baseman in 2020.
This set the stage for a breakout season in 2021, as only 10 players in all of baseball had a higher fWAR than Lopez’s 6.0 mark last year. Much of that value came from defense, as over 1233 2/3 innings at shortstop, Lopez posted +24 Outs Above Average, +3 Defensive Runs Saved, and +4.6 UZR/150. He also had his best year at the plate in the majors, batting .300/.365/.378 (106 wRC+) with 78 runs scored and 22 steals in 23 chances.
Given that arbiters put more weight on standard counting stats than advanced metrics, Lopez’s lack of power and lack of a real offensive track record prior to 2021 probably contributed to the Royals’ victory in the hearing. The arbiter was also only regarding Lopez’s 2021 numbers, so the infielder’s big struggles this season (.214/.286/.251 in 209 PA) weren’t supposed to be a factor. Lopez’s top-flight speed helped him beat out many a grounder in 2021, but his .347 BABIP was a hint that regression was inevitable, as reflected by his .253 BABIP this season.
The Royals’ 2021-22 arbitration class is now finally settled, after the lockout pushed baseball’s arb business (and several hearings) deep into the season. Lopez was the second arb-eligible Royal who went to a hearing, and Andrew Benintendi earned a victory in his case last month.
Royals Crush And Humiliate Nicky Lopez With Arbitration Win.
Love this title so much more…. I even tried to click on yours, like 43 times, but it didn’t work. You teaser!
Hang a W on that one for the FO. If ya can’t defeat your opponents, hammer out some wins in arbitration. Hey, a win’s a win, right?
Yep it is
The only “ More to come” we want to read is Sherman is out as owner and the entire staff starting with 20% Moore on down is OUT. Mathenaloser included
I don’t why the royals fan are down on Lopez. Would definitely like to see him in a Orioles uniform.
Lopez is doing his best to become a non-tender candidate.
I can think of several players that are a higher priority to get rid of. Lopez has been bad but he’s a middle infielder batting 9th, if the rest of the lineup is producing I’m fine with the middle infielder batting 9th being an elite defender who can steal bases and move a runner but isn’t a big offensive threat.
The Royals have many, many, many problems. Nicky Lopez isn’t one of them.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Lopez’ camp: Oh Nicky you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind. Hey Nicky ! Hey Nicky!
Royals: Oh Nicky you’re so bad, watching you makes us sad oh Nicky. oh Nicky.
I have been a Royals fan since 1969. Nicky Lopez is the smoothest fielding infielder we have ever had. And yes I watch the Royals everyday. Nicky batted .300 last season and his defensive starts indicate he should have won a gold glove at Shortstop. But his lack of tenure cost him the chance. His first season he played second base and was a gold glove finalist. If the Royals want to fight one of the best infielders they have ever had just go ahead and put Nicky on wavers. 29 other teams will claim him. What does it say about a team that paid 13 million for a worn out pitcher who has no wins at this point in the season. Paid 10 million for a five hole hitter that looks for a walk every time he comes to bat and hits .175 with 20 RBI and five Homers. It says that team is in last place. What does it say about the Royals future, Nicky will become an All-Star on another team. Matheny could not pick a pig in the state fair and Sherman could not buy one either.
You obviously missed the Frank White years! Give me a break.
I got $20 on the fact I doubt you have ever seen Frank White play. Or maybe you are the village idiot. I saw Frank White play. He does not have the feet or the hands or defensive stats better than Lopez and White never played shortstop. Nicky played it he second year. I did not say Nicky was a better all around player. I said he was a smoother infielder. Plus Nicky had more range in a quicker game. But Frank could hit. Nicky Struggles. Again $20 you have never seen him play. .
No “defeat” this time?
Goes to show why they are the Royals,taking a player to arbitration over half a million who they just had a bobble head day last weekend for! SMH !