Friday, February 25, 2011

Super 2 arbitration with the Royals

Comments made by Dayton Moore make it seem like the Royals aren't afraid of Super 2 arbitration on any of their prospects. He's clued in that Moustakas will be going to AAA to get more at bats Hosmer will be joining him and could push that issue on the Royals sooner than later. While Moustakas is only 12 days away from saving that sixth season of free agency for KC he is also only a couple months from saving this season entirely so while it is the smart move to make him play in Omaha until June to save that Super 2 money, there is another scenario that the Royals may want to consider for any prospect they deem is valuable and ready. That is to sign them to an extension sooner rather than later, ala Evan Longoria.



Andrew Friedman and Evan Longoria set this precedent a few years ago and it has paid major dividends for the Rays. Longoria on April 18, 2008 signed a 6 year $17.5M extension with club options of 7.5, 11 and 11.5M in years 2014-16 just six days after his major league debut. Considering Longoria had only played in six major league games there was plenty of risk taken on by the Rays but weighing that risk against what they are going to pay him for his prime years shows you it was a risk well worth taking. Not only are they saving money in his arbitration years(13M over 3 years) they are saving huge during his free agency years. Then enter the likelihood that Evan wouldn't have signed with the Rays at all if he would've made it to free agency due to the bidding going over what they could afford and you can really see why this was a intelligent decision.

Every player is different and some are more eager for security than others but I bet most players would have a hard time turning down this type of deal only 6 days into their career. Not only does it assure them of plenty of money regardless of success, it also undoubtedly offers them more chances than a normal player if they should struggle because of the weight of the money.

For a small market club like the Rays or Royals a deal like this isn't going to cripple them if it fails but it pays huge when successful. There is also a middle ground where the player doesn't reach Longoria heights and makes it worth close to what his value is so it isn't just a hit or miss. Moustakas plays a more valuable defensive position than Hos so he can offset this risk by playing average defense making the move a little less risky.

Should the Royals make this type of offer to Moustakas, Hosmer or any position prospect that is high profile and ready? Would they be interested? Both Hos and Moose are represented by Scott Boras who in most cases wants his players to go to free agency and would probably be pretty persuasive in not signing a longterm deal if either player would enjoy early success so this type of offer could be the only way KC can ink them longterm. Scott's past Royal players haven't been eager to sign extensions prior to becoming free agents. Off the top of my head Robinson Cano appears to be the only client of his I can remember signing early and of course he plays for the richest and most successful team in the league.

Whether you like this idea or not this could be the only way KC can lock up two key pieces for more than a six year stay in Kansas City.

Pic via Around the Horn in KC blog

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