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Royals Arbitration Estimates

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MLB Trade Rumors has its arbitration estimates out for the twelve Royals eligible for arbitration. Let's take a look.

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

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:

Player Salary
Luke Hochevar $5,000,000
Greg Holland $4,900,000
Eric Hosmer $4,100,000
Emilio Bonifacio $3,300,000
Aaron Crow $1,900,000
Felipe Paulino $1,750,000
Chris Getz $1,300,000
George Kottaras $1,200,000
Justin Maxwell $1,200,000
Tim Collins $1,000,000
Luis Mendoza $1,000,000
Brett Hayes $900,000

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:

Royals Payroll 2014
James Shields $13,500,000
Jeremy Guthrie $11,000,000
Alex Gordon $10,750,000
Billy Butler $8,000,000
Luke Hochevar $5,000,000
Greg Holland $4,900,000
Wade Davis $4,800,000
Eric Hosmer $4,100,000
Emilio Bonifacio $3,300,000
Alcides Escobar $3,000,000
Aaron Crow $1,900,000
Felipe Paulino $1,750,000
Salvador Perez $1,500,000
Noel Arguelles $1,380,000
Chris Getz $1,300,000
Justin Maxwell $1,200,000
George Kottaras $1,200,000
Tim Collins $1,000,000
Luis Mendoza $1,000,000
Lorenzo Cain $800,000
Mike Moustakas $725,000
Kelvin Herrera $600,000
Jarrod Dyson $600,000
Danny Duffy $600,000
David Lough $510,000
25th Man $400,000
Payroll total $84,817,014
Without tenders $58,165,000

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.