Royals general manager Dayton Moore is still perfect in arbitration cases.
In the Royals’ first arbitration hearing with a player since Moore took over in 2006, the club defeated reliever Brandon Maurer on Friday morning. Maurer will be paid $2.95 million in 2018.
Maurer, 27, filed for $3.5 million in January, while the Royals countered at $2.95 million. The sides never came to a settlement agreement, and on Thursday a third-party arbitrator heard cases from each side during a hearing in Arizona. That person ruled in favor of the Royals on Friday.
Maurer said on Friday afternoon that both sides were able to keep the process from being contentious. Players must be present for hearings. Maurer said he was not surprised by anything that was said by the team side.
"I was kind of waiting for that ‘Oh, crap’ moment,” Maurer said. “And it didn’t really hit me.”
Maurer, acquired last summer from the San Diego Padres, posted a 6.52 ERA in 68 appearances last season, including an 8.10 ERA in 26 outings with the Royals. He made $1.9 million last season.
The Royals had not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since Emil Brown won his case in 2006, just a few months before Moore replaced Allard Baird as the club’s general manager.
The Royals were represented in the case Thursday by outside counsel, though club officials did prepare arguments.
“We had our position as a club,” assistant general manager Scott Sharp said. “They had their position as a player. You just try to stick to facts, you try to stick to what your basic premise is for why you believe a player should be paid a certain amount.”