The Royals agreed to terms with first baseman Eric Hosmer, relief pitcher Luke Hochevar and infielder Emilo Bonifacio on Friday, avoiding arbitration with those players.
Hosmer, coming off his most productive year, signed a one-year contract for $3.6 million after earning $528,200 last season. He hit .302 with 17 home runs and 79 RBIs and won a Gold Glove for his defensive work at first base.
Hochevar, who found a new role out of bullpen last season and enjoyed the best of his seven major-league seasons, signed a one-year deal for $5.2 million. Last season, Hochevar made $4.56 million when he went 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA and picked up the first two saves of his career. He also finished with a WHIP (walks and hits divided by innings pitched) of .825 and had a career-low 5.2 hits per nine innings.
Bonifacio hit .285 with 11 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 42 games for the Royals after his Aug. 14 trade from Toronto. He played in a combined 136 games with the Blue Jays and Royals, stealing a total of 28 bases.
He signed for $3.5 million for one year. Bonifacio made $2.6 million last year.
The signings leave the Royals with three unsigned arbitration-eligible players: right-handed pitchers Aaron Crow and Greg Holland and outfielder Justin Maxwell. Those three officially exchanged salary numbers Friday.
Holland, who made $539,500 last season, asked for $5.2 million for the upcoming season, while the team countered at $4.1 million. Crow, who made $1.28 million, asked for $1.7 million, and the team offered $1.28 million, which would be no raise.
Maxwell, who was paid $492,500 last year, asked for $1.7 million, and the Royals offered $1.075 million.
Players become arbitration eligible by accruing at least three years of service time, or in Hosmer’s case, by being classified as a “Super Two,” because he is in the top 22 percent in total service in the class of players who have at least two but fewer than three years of major-league service.
The arbitration process determines their salary based on service time and on-field accomplishments, and in almost every case it will be procedural news. Last year, every arbitration-eligible player in baseball agreed to a salary before a hearing, which can be a bitter process both sides prefer to avoid.