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Projected 2024 Royals arbitration salaries

The Royals have decisions to make on eight arbitration-eligible players.

Kansas City Royals v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The off-season is just around the corner, and the Royals will have to decide what to do with their eight arbitration-eligible players. MLB Trade Rumors just released their arbitration salary projections for 2024, giving us an idea of what these players may get through the arbitration process.

Players are eligible for arbitration once they accrue at least three or more years of service time (plus certain “Super Two” players) but are not yet eligible for free agency. Clubs have to decide whether or not to “tender” the player a contract, and the two sides negotiate on a salary, and if they are unable to come to an agreement by February, each side submits a figure to an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator will pick a side to win, and cannot split the difference. Salaries depend largely on service time, with Arbitration 1 players (players in their first year of the process) generally receiving 30 percent of market value, Arbitration 2 players receiving 50 percent of market value, and Arbitration 3 players receiving 70 percent of market value.

Projected Royals 2024 arbitration salaries

Player Arb year 2023 salary 2024 projection
Player Arb year 2023 salary 2024 projection
Kris Bubic Arb 2 $2,200,000 $2,400,000
Taylor Clarke Arb 3 $1,150,000 $2,200,000
Taylor Hearn Arb 3 $1,462,500 $1,700,000
Carlos Hernandez Arb 1 $730,250 $1,300,000
Edward Olivares Arb 1 $740,750 $1,800,000
Brady Singer Arb 2 $2,950,000 $5,100,000
Josh Staumont Arb 2 $1,025,000 $1,200,000
Josh Taylor Arb 2 $1,025,000 $1,300,000

Singer and Hernández are locks to be tendered a contract, and Singer could be a candidate for a long-term deal despite his disappointing season. The Royals defeated him in an arbitration hearing earlier this year with the pitcher seeking $3.325 million. Olivares will likely be tendered a deal after he went on a tear in September, hitting .329/.390/.657 with six home runs in 22 games, but his defensive limitations bring questions about his future with the club.

Kris Bubic had Tommy John surgery this spring and will likely not be ready for the start of next season. Josh Staumont had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery with an uncertain timeline for recovery. The Royals could decide to non-tender each and try to bring them back on a deal that makes more sense for their situation, maybe a two-year deal with a lower base salary.

Taylor Clarke got off to a good start, but struggled most of the year and would be a prime non-tender candidate. Taylor Hearn only pitched in eight games and does not seem to have shown enough to justify his salary. Josh Taylor only pitched in 17 games before a shoulder impingement injury ended his season.

The Royals have just three players under contract next year with salaries totaling around $30 million - Salvador Perez, Jordan Lyles, and Jake Brentz. They also still owe Hunter Dozier $9.25 million next season. My early estimate at a projected payroll for 2024 has them around $66 million. Picollo hasn’t said what his budget for next year is, and has downplayed the role of free agency, although he has said they will bring in pitchers from outside the organization.