Genuine Royals baseball news in January is pretty rare and often not exceptionally interesting. This is one such story:
The Royals and pitcher Luke Hudson agreed on a one-year deal worth a little more than $500,000 on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration.
It's a raise from the $422,000 Hudson made in 2007 when a shoulder injury limited him to just one start. Hudson underwent surgery in June but is expected to be recovered enough to compete in spring training.
"When he's healthy, he's got some pretty dynamic stuff," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "The quality of his pitches is very good. We're counting on him coming in here and competing for a job."
The Royals have seven players still facing arbitration: John Buck, Jorge De La Rosa, Esteban German, Ross Gload, Jimmy Gobble, Zack Greinke and Mark Teahen.
My generous arbitration estimate for Hudson was $700K, so I'm glad to see him settle for less than that. For what it's worth, here are my generous arbitration estimates for the remaining players:
Buck - $1M
De La Rosa - $800K
German - $700K
Gload - $1.3M
Gobble - $1.2M
Greinke - $1M
Teahen - $1.6M
I tried to make these estimates fairly generous so that I wouldn't overestimate how much money the Royals had remaining for free agents. By the way, the Royals current payroll (including these estimates) is $59.7M, which would leave $7.3M to get the payroll up to last year's $67M total major league payroll.