Ball Star

Eric Hosmer should be due a big raise in 2014

Updated: 2014-01-14T18:06:39Z

By PETE GRATHOFF

The Kansas City Star

Those Major League Baseball players who are eligible will file for salary arbitration Tuesday, and there are seven Royals who are expected to do so.

They are pitchers Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, Tim Collins and Luke Hochevar, along with first baseman Eric Hosmer, outfielder Justin Maxwell and utlityman Emilio Bonifacio. Players and teams will exchange salary figures on Friday and hearings are scheduled to begin in February.

The most interesting of the Royals group is Hosmer, who was paid $528,500 last season, according to Cot’s Contracts.

Hosmer qualifies for arbitration as a “Super Two,” which means he gets an extra year of arbitration because he is in the top 22 percent in total service in the class of players who have at least two but less than three years of major-league service.

Hosmer is coming off a huge 2013 season.

After starting slow, Hosmer finished with a slash line of .302/.353/.448. He set career highs in batting average, hits (188), doubles (34), RBIs (79) and led the American League with 60 multi-hit games.

In short, he became the productive player the Royals and fans expected when he was drafted third overall in 2008.

The excellent MLB Trade Rumors website projected Hosmer would get a raise to $4.1 million.

A long-term contract would suit the Royals, who have locked up players before they hit free agency (notably, Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar). However, Hosmer is represented by Scott Boras, and he rarely seems keen on his players not testing free agency.

Royals general manger Dayton Moore declined to talk about the team's dealings with Hosmer.

“There’s nothing I would say on that other than we’re very proud of Eric and we’re pleased with where he is as a player, as a contributor and as a great teammate,” Moore said. “I’m just proud that he’s with us and all those discussions will remain very private.”

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/pgrathoff

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