The Royals avoided arbitration with Mike Moustakas late Thursday evening, signing him to a two-year contract worth $14.3 million, according to MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan. Moustakas was Kansas City's last remaining unsettled arbitration case. He had been seeking $7 million with the Royals countering with a $4.2 million offer. With hearings taking place this month, Dayton Moore was in danger of having his first ever arbitration hearing as Royals General Manager.
Moustakas will earn $5.6 million in 2016 and $8.7 million in 2017. The 27-year old received $2.75 million last year. Moustakas enjoyed a career year last year, hitting .284/.348/.470 with 22 HR 82 RBI, earning his first All-Star appearance. He had struggled mightily in the two years prior to that however, and was demoted to the minor leagues in May of 2014.
The deal helps the Royals avoid arbitration with Moustakas over the next two seasons, but does not buy out any years of free agency. The Royals face free agency with a large number of players after the 2017 season, including Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Danny Duffy, Wade Davis, and Jarrod Dyson.