MLB Trade Rumors has its arbitration estimates out for the Royals. They use a formula based on historical arbitration records to determine what arbitration-eligible players will receive as salaries. Twelve Royals are eligible for arbitration. Here is what MLB Trade Rumors projects:
I had Hochevar pegged to make a bit more, Holland to make a bit less, but generally that looks about what I had it pegged at. Hosmer has only two and a half years of service, but should qualify as a "Super-Two". Let's look at how those salaries fit in with the overall payroll picture:
I didn't include Brett Hayes because it makes little sense to carry three catchers. So we have about $58 million (plus about $4.4 million in minimum wage players to replace the non-tenders) if we non-tender everyone - about $62.4 million. Start adding in tendered players - Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Aaron Crow, Tim Collins, Justin Maxwell - (and subtract the $400k in minimum wage salaries) and you get to $73.5 million, which is pretty close to last year's $80 million payroll which supposedly serves as our limit for 2014.
Then you start having hard decisions. How much do you like Emilio Bonifacio's stolen bases? Is it worth a million bucks to have George Kottaras draw walks once a week? Can we afford $1.75 million on the Felipe Paulino gamble? Can we afford a $5 million reliever used primarily in low-leverage situations?
Arbitration-eligible player must be tendered a contract by December 2. It will be interesting to see what the Royals decide.