Tag: Tim Collins

Omar Infante AP

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.

Tim Collins out for the season after Tommy John surgery

Tim Collins

Royals left-hander Tim Collins underwent Tommy John elbow surgery Wednesday and will miss the entire season.

Collins missed time with elbow problems last season and exited his spring training debut with elbow tightness, which an MRI exam showed to be from ligament damage.

Collins has been very solid out of the Royals’ bullpen since debuting in 2011 as a 21-year-old, throwing 211 innings with a 3.54 ERA and 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings to offset shaky control. His absence seemingly increases the odds of Brandon Finnegan cracking the opening Day roster, as a reliever.

He’ll be paid $1.45 million this season in his second year of arbitration eligibility and the Royals will have to decide whether to keep Collins for 2016 at roughly the same price tag.

Tim Collins has ligament damage in his elbow

Tim Collins Getty

Royals reliever Tim Collins left his spring training debut the other day with tightness in his elbow. He just got some bad news about that:

Collins missed time last season with a flexor strain in his left elbow, appearing in only 22 games. Now he could be missing much, much more time. Tough break.

Tim Collins leaves spring debut with tight left elbow

tim collins getty

Royals reliever Tim Collins missed time last season with a flexor strain in his left elbow and again had an issue with the joint Wednesday in his 2015 Cactus League debut …

Collins allowed a double and a walk in the short appearance Wednesday versus the Rangers, throwing only nine of his 17 pitches for strikes. If he’s dealing with something serious, left-handed pitching prospect Brandon Finnegan will have a better shot at making the Opening Day roster.

What’s in store for the Royals this winter?

Dayton Moore, Ned Yost

When the Royals traded Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi to the Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis, they were settling themselves up to win in 2013 and 2014. Now, Shields is a free agent, as are Billy Butler and Norichika Aoki, and the Royals have to decide just how much they’re willing to spend to keep their World Series team relatively intact.

The Royals’ payroll this year was $92 million, and a bunch of the incumbents are due raises. Here most of what’s coming off the books:

Shields: $12 million
Butler: $8 million ($1 million buyout of $12.5 million club option)
Luke Hochevar: $5.21 million
Aoki: $2.5 million
Josh Willingham: $2 million ($7 million salary was acquired in August)
Aaron Crow: $1.475 million (arbitration eligible, likely traded or non-tendered)
Jason Frasor: $800,000 ($1.75 million salary was acquired in July)

And what’s staying on:

Alex Gordon: $10 million to $12.5 million
Jeremy Guthrie: $8 million to $9 million
Jason Vargas: $7 million to $8.5 million
Greg Holland: $4.65 million to $8 million – arbitration
Omar Infante: $5 million to $7.5 million
Davis: $4.8 million to $7 million (club option)
Eric Hosmer: $3.6 million to $5.5 million – arbitration
Lorenzo Cain: $550,000 to $3.5 million – arbitration
Alcides Escobar: $3 million to $3 million
Mike Moustakas: $550,000 to $2.5 million – arbitration
Danny Duffy: $530,000 to $2.3 million – arbitration
Salvador Perez: $1.5 million to $1.75 million
Tim Collins: $1.3625 million to $1.6 million – arbitration
Kelvin Herrera: $520,000 to $1.5 million – arbitration
Jarrod Dyson: $530,000 to $1.1 million – arbitration

That’s $51.6 million going up to approximately $74.75 million among the returnees, plus the minimum salaries of guys like Yordano Ventura and Brandon Finnegan. If you take those 15 guys and add in 10 minimum salaries, you’re already at $80 million.

Fortunately, that’s a pretty well rounded group of returnees. It includes four-fifths of a rotation, the league’s best bullpen and seven members of the lineup. I am assuming that the Royals keep the bullpen intact. It’s not ideal for a small-market team to pay $15 million to two relievers in Holland and Davis, but those guys aren’t typical relievers. If the Royals could trade Holland for a quality young starter or right fielder, that could be worth doing. But they shouldn’t simply dump either over payroll concerns.

With that group, the Royals would enter next season with an extreme lack of depth, but they could conceivably just sign a cheap DH and compete in the AL Central.

Ideally, though, the Royals would push their payroll up to around $100 million-$110 million and either re-sign Shields, which should take $18 million-$20 million per year, or bring in a quality replacement. Let Butler test the market, and when he finds it’s not so much to his liking, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Royals are able to re-sign him for $6 million-$7 million. My guess is that Aoki is in line for a two-year deal in the $15 million range, which is probably too steep for Kansas City. The Royals could save money by signing Chris Denorfia to share time with Dyson in the outfield.

Will it happen? The World Series run makes it a whole lot more likely. If the Royals had lost the wild card game, I’m pretty sure the intention would have been to cut payroll slightly. After all, they really stretched it to get to $92 million. It was $10 million more than they had ever spent before, and they had to manuever to stay down that low (they released Emilio Bonifacio after offering him arbitration, they converted $3 million of Guthrie’s salary into a 2016 buyout and they backloaded the deals given to Vargas and Infante).

Now, after the events of October, the Royals need to seize momentum. I’d like to think that many of the dollars they spend this winter will make it back to them in increased attendance. Keep the fans excited and ownership will be rewarded.