147 players filed for free agency today, and teams can begin signing free agents on November 5. In the meantime, they have exclusive negotiating rights to their own free agents, which means the Royals still have time to work out deals with their free agents.
The Royals have four players eligible for Major League Free Agency - pitchers Ervin Santana and Bruce Chen, infielder Miguel Tejada, and statue Carlos Pena. Santana is expected to be one of the most coveted free agent pitchers available. MLB Trade Rumors ranks him as the sixth best free agent overall. They project a 5 year $75 million deal will entice the 30 year-old right-hander. The Royals will almost certainly offer him a qualifying offer of $14.1 million which, if he turns down, would net the Royals a sandwich pick in next year's June amateur draft.
One player who won't be a free agent is James Shields, whose $13.5 million club option was picked up by the Royals today. WHY DOES DAYTON PULL THE TRIGGER SO EARLY WITHOUT EXPLORING OPTIONS! Just kidding, there's now way for even dour Royals Review to spin this negatively.
Sam Mellinger calls on the Royals to spend money this winter like they've never spent before, but the Royals indicate they're looking to improve internally and not through free agents.
Here's a complete list of eligible free agents. Who ya got?