Aaron Gleeman

If all those Royals get voted into the All-Star game it could cost Kansas City $1.25 million in bonuses


As of the most recent All-Star game voting update eight Kansas City Royals were the AL’s leading vote-getters their respective positions.

There’s been a ton of discussion/argument about how that has happened, whether something needs to be changed, and what the overall impact will be, but here’s an interesting angle I hadn’t seen before: Bonus money.

Many players across MLB has bonuses built into their contracts for making the All-Star game and the Royals are no different. In fact, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that if the current voting stands and eight Royals are voted in as American League starters it could end up costing the Royals a total of $1.25 million in bonuses.

The organization, of course, is fully aware of the financial implications wrought by the surge of online support. The executives joke about it sometimes, as they too were caught off-guard by the waves of voting. General manager Dayton Moore cast the upcoming bill of bonuses as a badge of honor for the organization.

“Every single night, you pull hard for your players,” Moore said. “I hope they reach all their goals. I hope they reach all their bonuses. It’s good for them.”

McCullough details the bonuses for each player and in several cases the fallout would extend beyond this season by increasing future salaries and/or changing contractual terms. At minimum each player would receive an extra $50,000 and second baseman Omar Infante–who’s hitting .228 with a .547 OPS–would get an extra $500,000.

Ultimately $1.25 million isn’t much within the context of an MLB team. For instance, the Royals are paying $1.5 million to middle reliever Tim Collins and he had season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery in spring training. But the whole thing does add another layer of drama and weirdness to the voting story.

One year, one rebuilt elbow, and 16 picks later Brady Aiken signs with the Indians


Brady Aiken, who failed to sign with the Astros as the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft and later underwent Tommy John elbow surgery, has signed with the Indians after being selected 17th overall this year.

Aiken will get significantly less money than he was slotted to get as the No. 1 pick and will also get less money than the reduced offer the Astros made him following concerns about the health of his arm, but at least he’s signed and can now rehab under the watch of an MLB organization.

No word yet on Aiken’s signing bonus, but the recommended slot value for the 17th pick is $2.4 million. And if his recovery from elbow surgery goes well the Indians may have just gotten a No. 1 pick-caliber talent in the middle of the first round. He’s expected to make his pro debut in the middle of next season, at age 19.

Houston received the No. 2 overall pick this year for failing to sign Aiken and selected LSU shortstop Alex Bregman, who has not yet signed.

Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco returns from concussion

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Gregor Blanco needed more than the minimum seven-day stay on the concussion disabled list, but the Giants outfielder is ready to return after being hit by one of teammate Brandon Belt’s warmup throws while running across the infield on June 9.

Blanco was doing his usual thing before the concussion, hitting .278 with one homer and a .780 OPS in 48 games, and the Giants will likely put him into a starting role with Hunter Pence on the disabled list.

Blanco is expected to be activated for tonight’s game against the Dodgers.