KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a move that hardly came as a surprise, the Royals on Monday chose not to tender second baseman Chris Getz a contract, thus removing him from their 40-man roster and making him a free agent.
Getz made $1.05 million in 2013 and despite a poor season likely would have been granted a raise through arbitration, possibly to as high as $1.3 million.
The Royals likely are on the hook for $10-$12 million in arbitration raises through the other eight players they did tender on Monday — second baseman Emilio Bonifacio, left-hander Tim Collins, right-hander Aaron Crow, catcher Brett Hayes, right-hander Luke Hochevar, right-hander Greg Holland, first baseman Eric Hosmer and outfielder Justin Maxwell.
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There had been some speculation that Hochevar, who was 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA last season in the bullpen, might be non-tendered in a cost-cutting measure. Hochevar made $4.56 million last season and could see a raise to the $5.5 million range — a sizable salary for a setup man.
But the Royals still view Hochevar as a potential rotation candidate and clearly want to see how he carries over his success from 2013.
Meanwhile, the reaction to the Getz decision was fast and furious on Twitter, where he had become the Royals’ punching bag for much of his four years in Kansas City.
One fan tweeted, “Getz gone. Happy day!”
Tweeted another fan, “Best move the franchise has made in a long time.”
Still another tweeted, “There will be parties in the streets of KC tonight!”
And yet one more, “Who is Ned going to inexplicably stick with now that Getz is gone?”
Actually, though, Getz technically still could be re-signed, a fairly common move for some teams looking to keep a player at a more club-friendly price.
But the fact that Getz lost his job last summer to Bonifacio and the fact that Getz isn’t a utility player makes such a move somewhat doubtful.
Getz became the target of criticism from fans because of his consistently low slugging percentage. He hit just one home run in four seasons with the Royals covering 1,125 plate appearances.
Last season was clearly Getz’s worst in his six years in the big leagues. He had just eight extra-base hits in 237 plate appearances and hit just .220 with a .288 on-base percentage.
Manager Ned Yost often defended keeping Getz in the lineup, suggesting that Getz’s defense and ability to do the “little things” justified his presence there. But Getz made four errors in less than half a season, had a modest .986 fielding percentage and rarely came up with a hit-robbing play.
Getz also failed to get a crucial bunt down in the ninth inning during a disastrous and disheartening loss in Cleveland.
If the Royals do not re-sign Getz, they will additionally cut their last remaining tie to the Carlos Beltran trade.
In a three-team deal in 2004, the Royals sent Beltran to Houston and received John Buck from the Astros, and Mark Teahen and Mike Wood from Oakland. Buck eventually was released, Wood was eventually non-tendered and Teahen was traded to the White Sox for Getz and third baseman Josh Fields. Fields was non-tendered in 2010.
As Royals fans know, the Royals now are trying to sign Beltran to help bolster their offense.
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.