Royals reach deal with Maxwell

Still great. - Ed Zurga

I think this got lost in the weekend shuffle, but following the flurry of contract activity on last Friday, the Royals had three arbitration-eligible players who were still without a contract. Per the rules of the CBA, team and player submitted figures.

Greg Holland
Player - $5.2 million
Team - $4.1 million

Aaron Crow
Player - $1.7 million
Team - $1.28 million

Justin Maxwell
Player - $1.7 million
Team - $1.075 million

On Tuesday, the Royals struck a deal with Maxwell. His 2014 contract will pay him $1.3275 million.

The Crow offer is interesting in that the number presented by the Royals was exactly the amount he made in 2013. That was due to him signing a major league contract with the team when he was drafted. Without that deal, he obviously would have made somewhere barely north of $500,000 last year. While the easy headline would be the Royals feel Crow doesn't deserve a raise, the true headline could read the Royals are trying to reel his salary back in line with his service time status and performance.

One way to look at the arbitration process at this point is to ignore the numbers submitted by player and team and instead focus on the midpoint. I'm thinking that's what the Royals are doing in this situation with Crow. Knowing he would ask for a raise, the Royals countered with no raise so ultimately his raise is minimal. In this case, close to $250,000. When player and team are this close, there's virtually no chance they are going all the way to the arbiter.

The Holland contract offer has more of a gap. At $1.1 million though, it still shouldn't be difficult for club and player to find common ground. MLB Trade Rumors estimated a 2014 salary of $4.9 million for Holland. If the two meet halfway, his 2014 salary would be slightly above $4.6 million. That has to be a number that looks fair to both player and team.

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