Money talks. Money always talks. But it raises its voice today around Major League Baseball as clubs confront an 11 p.m. Central time deadline for offering contracts to all players under their control.
That’s particularly true for the Royals, who are dealing with the initial wave of players from their in-house reconstruction project reaching first-time eligibility for salary arbitration.
That’s when salaries begin spiking upward.
The Royals have nine arbitration-eligible players. Five are first-time qualifiers, including two — All-Star closer Greg Holland and Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer — who are in line for hefty pay hikes.
“Yeah, we do (face some decisions),” general manager Dayton Moore said. “We’re still looking at it. We’ve got a call set up Monday morning to assess everything, but I don’t look for us to do anything that is too surprising.”
Industry estimates suggest the Royals will absorb a payroll hike of nearly $12 million if they choose to retain all nine players.
“We might not tender everybody,” Moore said, “but we might. There are some things that we’re kind of working on.”
The Royals have often gone down to the deadline with players in an effort to negotiate a contract to avoid the possibility of arbitration. When those efforts failed, the club at times chose not to offer a contract.
That decision is often termed “non-tendering” and results in the player becoming a free agent. Backup players and middle relievers are often non-tender candidates.
Second baseman Chris Getz looms as a potential non-tender candidate this year after losing his job last season to utilityman Emilio Bonifacio, who is also eligible for arbitration.