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.