The Royals continue to complete their housekeeping as they prepare for the defense of the American League crown, and on Tuesday they settled their arbitration cases with outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who agreed to a $2.75 million contract for 2015, and third baseman Mike Moustakas, who agreed to a $2.64 million deal.
The settlement leaves the club with four cases still to handle. The quartet is composed of closer Greg Holland, first baseman Eric Hosmer, starter Danny Duffy and reliever Kelvin Herrera.
Both Cain and Moustakas were eligible for arbitration for the first time.
Cain, the 28-year-old reigning American League Championship Series MVP, made $546,000 last season. He filed for $3.6 million and the Royals countered at $2 million.
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He played the most games in his career in 2014, 133, and hit .301 with five homers and 53 RBIs. In the playoffs, Cain batted .333/.388/.417 and drove in eight runs while scoring 13 and making several spectacular outfield plays.
Moustakas, the 26-year-old third baseman, filed for $3.1 million; the Royals countered with $1.85 million. They reached a deal slightly above the midpoint.
Moustakas posted the least-productive offensive season of his career in 2014. He finished with a career-low .212 batting average and .632 on-base plus slugging percentage. But he still swatted 15 home runs, and formed a critical portion of the club’s infield defense.
It was in October that Moustakas shined. He homered five times and slugged .558 in the playoffs. The club was heartened by his performance that month, and team officials hope he builds on it for 2015.