Of the players eligible for arbitration, which is the contract negotiation process for players without enough service time to be considered a free agent, the Royals kept all but one. The Royals have finally cut ties with Chris Getz. Getz was often praised for “doing the little things” like sacrifice bunting and other such things. Unfortunately, Getz didn’t do the big things, like hit. Not giving a contract to Getz complicates the 2b situation for the Royals, but it absolutely had to be done.
During his Royals career, Getz accrued 0.6 over 1,124 plate appearances. He hit ONE home run. Getz didn’t walk too much, but he didn’t strike out much either. Getz was perhaps average to a little bit above average defensively, but his utter lack of offense negated any defensive value. He had trouble staying healthy. Getz was not projected to make much money in 2014, but those plate appearances can now be given to someone who might actually add value. Like SS, 2b was an offensive black hole in 2013, and some improvement had to be made.
For now, it looks like Emilio will be the starting 2b in 2014. , like Getz, lacks power. walks more than Getz, but he also strikes out more. brings below average defense, but he is an excellent . Steamer projects to be worth 1.1 in 462 PA in 2014, while Oliver projects him to be worth 1.6 in 600 PA. This is definitely better than what Getz could bring, but it’s not a big upgrade. performed well in 2013 for KC, but most of that performance was driven by an unsustainable .369 BABIP. Expect a decrease from his .285/.352/.348 Royals batting line. is projected to get about $3.3M (per MLB Trade Rumors), and 1-2 for that amount is about fair value on the free agent market.
Other options include Christian Colon and Johnny in the minors. has been pretty bad in the majors across parts of 3 seasons, but he has never really been given an adequate chance to prove himself. He has walked a ton and showed good power in AAA, so there is reason to hope that he can still put it together in the majors. The Royals seem to have given up on him, but we’ll see what 2014 brings. On the other hand, Colon is a 1st round draft pick who has not quite lived up to expectations. Colon played to a .273/.335/.379 line in AAA; this line isn’t that bad, but it isn’t that great. I am unsure of what defensive reputation he has, but he was originally a shortstop. Many evaluators said that the would eventually have to move over to 2b. He has a chance to make the 2014 team out of spring training as a utility infielder; however, if he goes back to AAA, he could get a midseason call-up if he improves.
While the Royals’ options at 2b are not great, any of , , or Colon is probably an upgrade over Getz. Barring a trade or FA signing, 2b still looks to be a position of weakness in 2014. All teams have weaknesses, though, and 2b is a tough place to find offense. As long as whoever is there in 2014 is competent, then 2b won’t be a detriment like it was in 2013.