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The 2016 payroll set a franchise record, topping out through bonuses at nearly $140 million. And the core of the 2017 roster could make $41.62 million more next season through arbitration and contract raises.
Granted, some 2016 salaries are coming off the books, namely those of Edinson Volquez, Kendrys Morales, Luke Hochevar, Kris Medlen and Tim Collins, for a savings of almost $31 million. But there also are buyouts of those deals, and Omar Infante's owed money ($8 million) that will cost $14 million.
Even with the loss of those players mentioned, Kansas City's projected payroll will be even higher in 2017, possibly topping out in the $143 million-$145 million range. That is why Moore has preached fiscal restraint this offseason. Moore said the Royals leveraged the 2016 payroll against another deep playoff run, which didn't happen.
Here's a quick look at how the costs of keeping the Royals' core roster intact will rise:
Potential arbitration cases
• First baseman Eric Hosmer made $8.25M in 2016. MLBTradeRumors.com estimates he could be awarded $13.3M in arbitration
• Outfielder Jarrod Dyson made $1.725M in 2016. Through arbitration, he could get $2.5M.
• Left-hander Danny Duffy made $4.225M in 2016. Through arbitration, he could get $8.2M.
• Right-hander Kelvin Herrera made $2.55M in 2016. Through arbitration he could get $5.3M.
• Left fielder Alex Gordon made $12M in 2016. He'll go up to $16M in 2017.
• Closer Wade Davis made $8M in 2016. He'll get $10M in 2017.
• Right-hander Ian Kennedy made $7.5M in 2016. He'll get $13.5M in 2017.
• Right-hander Joakim Soria made $7M in 2016. He'll get $8M in 2017.
• Outfielder Lorenzo Cain made $6.5M in 2016. He'll get $11M in 2017.
• Third baseman Mike Moustakas made $5.6M in 2016. He'll get $8.7M in 2017.
• Shortstop Alcides Escobar made $5.25M in 2016. He'll get $6.5M in 2017.
• Right-hander Chris Young made $4.25M in 2016. He'll get $5.75M in 2017.
• Left-hander Mike Minor made $2M in 2016. He'll get $4M in 2017.
• Catcher Salvador Perez made $2M in 2016. He'll get $3M in 2017.
• Right-hander Yordano Ventura made $1M in 2016. He'll get $3.25M in 2017.