Jarrod Dyson avoided salary arbitration with the Kansas City Royals and settled on a one-year, $1.225 million contract for 2015, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The team still has six other arbitration cases to settle: Closer Greg Holland, first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, outfielder Lorenzo Cain, pitcher Danny Duffy and reliever Kelvin Herrera.
The group figures to account for a sizable portion of the club’s payroll, which is expected to surpass $110 million and surpass last season’s franchise record by nearly $20 million.
Dyson, 30, was eligible for arbitration for the first time. He filed seeking $1.6 million; the Royals countered by filing at $900,000. The process is designed to facilitate settlements. Dayton Moore has never taken a case to arbitration during his tenure as Royals general manager.
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Arbitration hearings begin Sunday. Once a case goes to a hearing, either the player’s or team’s figure is accepted.
Dyson led the club with 36 stolen bases. He also excelled as a defensive replacement, and appeared in a career-high 120 games. By the end of the season, Dyson manned center field for the final innings of games, a defensive strategic that shifted Cain into right field and caused dozens of would-be hits to land in gloves instead.
The team signed Alex Rios this winter. Dyson looks slated for another year as a contributor off the bench.