Eight Royals hitters lead their positions in AL All-Star balloting, which is amusing story for Royals fans and for Major League Baseball. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star points out, however, that so many All-Star selections could have an effect on the Royals’ bottom line. If the Royals do in fact send eight starters to the All-Star Game, it could cost them $1.25MM in escalators and incentives. If reliever Wade Davis makes the team, he would get a $25K bonus as part of the contract he originally signed with the Rays, raising the Royals’ total payout to $1.275MM.
Second baseman Omar Infante would get $250K in 2016 and again in 2017 due to a clause in his contract that gives him $250K for each future season after receiving an All-Star berth or Silver Slugger award. Catcher Salvador Perez could receive $350K spread over his three option seasons ($50K in 2016, $100K in 2017 and $200K in 2018). In addition, each player selected (also potentially including Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas and Kendrys Morales) would get a $50K bonus as part of a standard clause in the Royals’ contracts.
The Royals had already reportedly been planning to consider re-working Perez’s incredibly cheap contract. They’re under no obligation to do so, but if they do, the All-Star clauses in his current deal won’t be likely to matter much.
McCullough points out, however, that an additional cost of the Royals’ All-Star berths might come in the form of greater arbitration raises for Moustakas and Cain. Moustakas currently makes $2.64MM, while Cain makes $2.73MM. Both have two years of arbitration eligibility remaining. All-Star selections could increase their future arbitration-year salaries.
McCullough notes that Cain has interest in a long-term deal. Hosmer, meanwhile, is signed through 2016, and it does not appear likely the Royals will keep him after he becomes a free agent following the 2017 season.
Nonetheless, the Royals don’t appear outwardly concerned about the additional payouts. Their financial effect probably pales in importance to the success the Royals have experienced in the past few seasons and the goodwill their players’ current standing in All-Star balloting seems to reflect.
“Every single night, you pull hard for your players,” says Royals GM Dayton Moore. “I hope they reach all their goals. I hope they reach all their bonuses. It’s good for them.”