The money the Kansas City Royals are spending on their bullpen continues to grow. On Friday, the Royals came to terms with right-handed reliever Aaron Crow.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Topeka, Kansas native and former Missouri Tiger signed for $1.475 million, plus a $50,000 bonus if he makes the All Star team.
#Royals avoided arbitration with Aaron Crow. He gets $1.475M plus $50K bonus if All-Star. Had asked for $1.7M. KC countered at $1.28M
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 31, 2014
The Royals already have nearly $17 million committed in salaries just to their bullpen, and Greg Holland has not even signed yet. It is hard to imagine that Kansas City can go into the season with over $20 million in relief pitchers, but that is exactly what they are looking at.
One has to assume the Royals as trying to trade either Wade Davis ($4.8 million) or Luke Hochevar ($5.21 million) to get some budget relief. It would be difficult for Kansas City to add another arm for the rotation with so much money slotted for relievers. Of course, the Bruce Chen signing may be the last pitcher the Royals will acquire.
Crow has shown he can be rather dominating, as in 2012, but his 2013 was just an average season. His K/9 dropped last season, and his BB/9, and his Hits/9 went up. If these trends continues, 2014 very well could be his last in Kansas City. His numbers from last season are very replaceable. These numbers could be match by a pitcher earning less money. For more analysis, click here for his KC Kingdom player profile.
Greg Holland is the only remaining arbitration eligible the Royals have yet to sign. He is coming off a career season, and could earn at least $5 million, which would push the cost of the bullpen to over $22 million.