The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

Royals roster and schedule
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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?

Reports: Dylan Moore, Mariners agree to nearly $8.9M deal

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Dylan Moore and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a three-year contract worth $8,875,000, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity night because the agreement had not been announced.

Moore had asked for a raise from $1.35 million to $2.25 million, and the Mariners had offered $1.9 million when proposed arbitration figures were exchanged on Jan. 13.

The 30-year-old utilityman would have been eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, but the new agreement pushes that back a year.

Moore played every position except pitcher and catcher last year, including 39 games in right field, seven in center, 18 in left, two at third base, 26 at shortstop, 12 at second, eight at first and three at designated hitter.

He is expected to play more second base this season, sharing time with Kolten Wong, and also is likely to spell J.P. Crawford at shortstop.

Moore was selected by Texas in the seventh round of the 2015 amateur draft, traded to Atlanta a year later and then released by the Braves in March 2018. He signed with Milwaukee, was released at the end of the season and then signed with Seattle that November.

Moore made his big league debut in March 2019 when Seattle played Oakland in Tokyo.

He hit .224 with six homers and 24 RBIs last year, down from 12 homers, 43 RBIs and a .181 batting average in 2021. Moore is a .208 career hitter with 35 homers and 112 RBIs.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, acquired by the Mariners from Toronto, also remains on track for a hearing. He asked for a raise from $10.65 million to $16 million, and Seattle offered $14 million.