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Royals avoid arbitration with Herrera, Karns

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore never has had one of his players go to arbitration since he took over the job in 2006.

That impressive streak again will be on the line this year as the Royals now have just one arbitration-eligible player: right-hander Brandon Maurer, who filed a $3.5 million offer, while the club countered with $2.95 million on Friday.

KANSAS CITY -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore never has had one of his players go to arbitration since he took over the job in 2006.

That impressive streak again will be on the line this year as the Royals now have just one arbitration-eligible player: right-hander Brandon Maurer, who filed a $3.5 million offer, while the club countered with $2.95 million on Friday.

The arbitration hearings are scheduled to run from Jan. 29-Feb. 16, though teams are free to sign deals before the hearing dates. The Royals have settled with right-hander Nate Karns for $1.375 million and right-hander Kelvin Herrera for $7,937,500, according to a source. The club does not disclose terms of agreements.

Both players will have incentives. Karns will receive $12,500 if he starts 15 games and $25,000 if he starts 20. Herrera will earn a $50,000 bonus for making the All-Star Game.

The closest call in terms of going to an arbitration hearing for Moore came in 2015, when first baseman Eric Hosmer was within a couple of hours of boarding a flight to his hearing when the sides settled on a two-year deal.

Karns, who made $571,000 last season, was in his first year of arbitration. Karns was 2-2 with a 4.17 ERA in nine games, eight of them starts, before his season was shelved in May. He later had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and he is expected to be ready for Spring Training, where he'll compete for a rotation spot.

Herrera, who had a base salary of $5.325 million in 2017, was in his final year of arbitration. Herrera was 3-3 with a 4.25 ERA last season and was 26 of 31 in save opportunities before losing his closer's role in September. He also has been the subject of numerous trade rumors as the Royals engage in a rebuild.

Maurer, acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline from the Padres, is in his second year of arbitration and had a base salary of $1.9 million in 2017. In 26 games for the Royals, Maurer had an 8.10 ERA with a 2.25 WHIP.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Kelvin Herrera, Nate Karns, Brandon Maurer