The Royals Payroll Situation Following the Vargas Signing

Ed Zurga

The 88-mph tossing southpaw gets us to close to $90 million in payroll commitments. Who's crying poor now?

Dayton dropped some knowledge on us yesterday with the third biggest free agent contract in franchise history, committing $32 million on left-handed starting pitcher Jason Vargas. We knew the Royals had said they wanted to keep payroll around $85 million, but might be willing to go higher for the right player. Was Vargas the right player? Apparently so. Jerry Crasnick has tweeted that while the deal may not be backloaded, its not even either.

Here is where the Royals payroll situation currently stands.

Royals Payroll

2014

2015

2016

Comments

James Shields

$13,500,000

Free Agent

$1 million buyout

Jeremy Guthrie

$11,000,000

$9,000,000

Free Agent

Alex Gordon

$10,750,000

$13,250,000

$12,500,000

Billy Butler

$8,000,000

$12,500,000

Free Agent

$1 million buyout

Jason Vargas

$7,000,000

$8,500,000

$8,500,000

Luke Hochevar

$5,000,000

Free Agent

Greg Holland

$4,900,000

Arbitration

Arbitration

Wade Davis

$4,800,000

$7,000,000

$8,000,000

Eric Hosmer

$4,100,000

Arbitration

Arbitration

Emilio Bonifacio

$3,300,000

Free Agent

$500,000 buyout

Alcides Escobar

$3,000,000

$3,000,000

$5,250,000

Aaron Crow

$1,900,000

Arbitration

Arbitration

Salvador Perez

$1,500,000

$1,750,000

$2,000,000

Noel Arguelles

$1,380,000

Chris Getz

$1,300,000

Free Agent

Justin Maxwell

$1,250,000

Arbitration

Arbitration

Tim Collins

$1,000,000

Arbitration

Arbitration

Lorenzo Cain

$800,000

Arbitration

Arbitration

Mike Moustakas

$725,000

Arbitration

Arbitration

Kelvin Herrera

$600,000

Arbitration

Arbitration

Jarrod Dyson

$600,000

Arbitration

Arbitration

Danny Duffy

$600,000

Arbitration

David Lough

$510,000

23rd Man

$500,000

24th Man

$500,000

25th Man

$500,000

Payroll Total

$89,017,014

$55,002,015

$36,252,016

Club option

Player option

Free Agent

Arbitration Estimate

The Royals let George Kottaras, Luis Mendoza, Felipe Paulino and Jamey Carroll go, saving them about $6 million in potential commitments. They can get that number down even more by letting Chris Getz go, which despite his grit factor, I really do think its just a matter of time before they outright him or non-tender him.

That still leaves the Royals close to $90 million, depending on what they do with Luke Hochevar and Emilio Bonifacio. I think both are a both are likely to get tendered contracts and be on the 2014 team. Hochevar may get shopped around, but the odds of the Royals saving too much money from a trade are slim. Not too many teams want $5 million low-leverage relievers with a one-year track record of success. Bob Dutton says there is not much room left in the payroll to pursue another free agent, so if this team is to do anything more to improve, it will likely have to be through a trade that doesn't add to the current payroll.

The Royals will spend over $31 million in 2014 alone on Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Vargas, Luke Hochevar, Wade Davis, and Emilio Bonifacio. How does that make you feel?

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