The Kansas City Royals are on a role.
It has not been a cheap endeavor. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Bonifacio will get $3.5 million and Hochevar will earn $5.21 million. This is in addition to the $3.6 Hosmer is getting, and the $1.36 coming Collins’ way.
bonifacio settled at $3.5M with #royals, who also settled with hosmer ($3.6M) and hochevar ($5.21M)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 17, 2014
If you aren’t keeping count, that is nearly $14 million going to a Gold Glove first baseman with star potential, a utility player, and two middle relievers.
Luke Hochevar, moved to a relief role for the first time in his career after struggling for years as a starter, turned in a dominating performance in 2013. In 70.1 innings, Hochevar produced a 1.92 ERA and a .825 WHIP. He struck out 82 and only walked 17 on the season.
If he can duplicate those numbers this season, he may be worth the money but if he regresses, which is probable, that is a whole lot of money to spend on a good middle reliever.
Emilio Bonifacio’s contract is even more puzzling. There is little doubt he is going to be a super utility player the Royals in 2014, baring injury. Bonifacio, who made $2.6 million last season, played very well for the Royals after coming over from Toronto in late July.
For the season though, he finished at .243/.295/.331/.625. His numbers as a Royal were better across the board – .285/.352/.348/.700.
$3.5 million seems an awful lot to pay a utility player with almost no power whatsoever – only 28 extra base hits in 461 plate appearances. Still, Bonifacio does have some value. He can steal bases (28 in 2013, 16 for the Royals), and he can play several positions on the field. He could serve as a reserve at second, shortstop, and third, plus all three outfield positions, giving the Royals some flexibility.
The Royals spent $8.7 million on a utility player and a middle reliever. Yes, Bonifacio and Hochevar are good at those particular roles but it is hard to believe that was money well spent when the Royals are still looking to upgrade their rotation.