Pay the piper: Royals’ winning ways lead to big paydays

With a large raise likely coming soon, Royals closer Greg Holland has reason to be pumped.

Joy R. Absalon/Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The bill always comes due.

And such is the case for the Royals as this is the week that salary arbitration figures are formally exchanged between eligible players and their teams. Arbitration hearings are scheduled to begin Feb. 1.

The Royals’ magnificent run to an American League championship was fueled by several players eligible for salary arbitration and therefore now in line for significant salary hikes.

It is something Royals general manager Dayton Moore has no choice but to accept.

"Actually, it’s a good thing," Moore said by phone. "If the team is performing well it is because of the players’ performances. And those performances eventually get rewarded.

"(Salary arbitration) is a system in place that makes sure the compensation is fair to all sides."

And it’s not like Moore has had to sweat much over arbitration cases — in fact, not at all. Since Moore took over as GM in 2006, no Royal has gone through arbitration.

"Not yet," Moore said. "But that may be more of a trend in the game today. You certainly hope to get deals done before (hearings)."


Settling out of court, so to speak, can be just as expensive, if not more. The Royals could explore longer team deals for players such as first baseman Eric Hosmer and relievers Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland.

Nine Royals are eligible for arbitration, several of whom are expected to see their salaries spike considerably. does an excellent job of gauging just how much players would be awarded through arbitration. The website estimates that if all nine Royals went to arbitration, the Royals’ payroll would spike by about $15.4 million from a year ago.

Here are the estimates for what each Royal would be awarded:

— Holland: $9.3 million

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— Hosmer: $5.2 million

— Third baseman Mike Moustakas: $2.7 million

— Starter Danny Duffy $2.6 million

— Outfielder Lorenzo Cain: $2.3 million

— Reliever Tim Collins: $1.5 million

— Herrera: $1.5 million

— Jarrod Dyson: $1.3 million

— Reliever Louis Coleman: $700,000

Those salary spikes would push the Royals’ payroll north of $110 million — by far a franchise record. And safe to say that even if Moore and his staff settle with all nine players, the payroll will be at least that much.

"It’s simply a part of the game and it comes with success," Moore said. "When you’re winning, the money (for players) always goes up."

You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at