The Royals announced they have come to terms with shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and pitcher Brad Keller, their last remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players. Today was the deadline to agree on terms with arbitration-eligible players before exchanging figures.
According to Alec Lewis, the Royals signed Mondesi to a one-year, $2.525 million contract, and Keller to a one-year, $3.35 million contract. MLB Trade Rumors estimated Mondesi would get either a $2.1 million or $3.8 million deal through arbitration, depending on how the shortened season was weighed. They estimated Keller would get $2.4 million or $4.3 million.
The #Royals now have 14 players guaranteed about $75.8 million. That probably leaves them about $15-$20 million to play with for a couple more moves.— David Lesky (@DBLesky) January 15, 2021
Mondesi has been an enigma for the Royals, mixing dynamic jaw-dropping performance with erratic play and long slumps. The 25-year old had an up-and-down season in 2020, getting off to an awful start, only to end on a torrid pace. He ended up hitting .256/.294/.416, leading the league with 24 steals in 59 games. In parts of five seasons, he has hit .251/.284/.415, and has yet to play more than 102 games in a year.
The 25-year old Keller is coming off a career-best ERA of 2.47, although in just 54 2⁄3 innings. He made just nine starts after missing the beginning of the year due to a positive COVID-19 test. Keller has a 3.50 ERA in 360 1⁄3 innings over three seasons with the Royals and seemed like a prime candidate for a long-term deal. Despite coming to terms, Keller and the Royals could still work out a contract extension which could run around $70 million.
The Royals will not have to go through any arbitration hearings this year, and have only had one case since Dayton Moore took over in 2006, defeating reliever Brandon Maurer in 2018.