It has been a busy day for the KC Royals.
They have signed four arbitration-eligible players throughout the day, leaving just outfielder Alex Gordon as the only player to still be without a contract for the 2012 season. Today is the final day for the two sides to exchange salary numbers before heading to arbitration hearings.
Earlier in the day, outfielder Mitch Maier agreed to a one-year deal. Though the Royals press release does not disclose specifics, according to Joey Nowak of MLB.com, the deal is worth $865,000.
Maier is the longest tenured player on the 40-man roster (his tenth year with the organization), as he was drafted in the first round of the 2003 draft. In his career, he has hit .253 in 327 games. Last season, Maier hit .232 with four doubles, three triples, seven RBIs, and 19 runs scored in 45 games.
In the last hour, the Royals have agreed to terms with three pitchers: Luke Hochevar, Felipe Paulino, and Jonathan Sanchez. Terms of the one-year deals have not be disclosed.
Hochevar was the Opening Day starter in 2011 and went 11-11with a 4.68 ERA in 31 starts. He went 6-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts following the All-Star break, holding opponents to a .222 average which ranked sixth in the American League among starters. He set career bests in wins, starts, innings (198.0), strikeouts (128) and quality starts (16) in 2011. Hochevar was the Royals first round pick in 2006.
Paulino came to the Royals via a May trade with the Colorado Rockies in 2011 (he was originally signed by the Houston Astros in 2001). He was 4-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) following the deal, striking out 119 in 124.2 innings. His 8.59 strikeouts per nine innings ranks as the fifth-best in franchise history among pitchers with at least 120 innings. Following the season, he was a member of the MLB All-Stars team that toured Taiwan (he pitched the third game of the series).
The Royals acquired Sanchez (along with minor league pitcher Ryan Vergudo) in November of 2011 for outfielder Melky Cabrera. In 2011 with the SF Giants, he was 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 19 starts before missing the end of the season with a left ankle sprain. In his career, he is 38-46 with a 4.26 ERA in 174 outings, including 118 starts. He threw a no-hitter on July 10, 2009 and had his best season in 2010 (13-9 with a 3.07 ERA).