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Getz enters free agency after being non-tendered

Second baseman ready to 'move forward' as KC makes decision before deadline

KANSAS CITY -- Second baseman Chris Getz felt the downside of the salary-arbitration process on Monday when the Royals announced he would not be offered a 2014 contract.

Getz thus becomes a free agent, dropping the Royals' roster to 39 players, one under the limit. The move beat the non-tender deadline of 11 p.m. CT by about 11 hours.

The club confirmed that would be its only non-tender of a contract prior to the deadline.

One of nine Royals players eligible for salary arbitration, a process which almost always results in sizable pay increases, Getz's 2013 earnings of $1.05 million were projected to go up to about $1.3 million.

"It can be a good and bad thing," Getz said of the arbitration process.

That salary may have been too steep for the Royals, especially with Emilio Bonifacio making a big impression at second base late in the season.

"I always knew there was a possibility this year, because of the way things finished off," Getz said. "Emilio came in and did really well. At the end of the day, they had to make a decision, and you just kind of move forward."

A fine defensive player, Getz finished 2013 with a career-low average of .220. In 78 games, he had eight extra-base hits -- including his first home run as a Royal after 829 at-bats without one -- and 18 RBIs. He also had 16 stolen bases in 19 attempts.

Bonifacio is also up for salary arbitration, and his $2.6 million salary is projected to jump to $3.3 million by

In Spring Training, Getz won a battle for the second-base job over Johnny Giavotella, but then lost some playing time to Elliot Johnson, Miguel Tejada and then Bonifacio. In all, Getz started 62 games at second base in 2013.

Bonifacio arrived from Toronto on Aug. 14 in a trade for a player to be named or cash and hit .285 in 42 games for the Royals. He had 16 of his 28 steals for the Royals and out of the second spot in the lineup had a .352 on-base percentage.

So Getz became expendable.

"I'm sure my agent will walk me through the next steps so I can find a new home somewhere," Getz said at midday during a workout at his home. "This is new and very fresh, considering I just got off the phone 20 minutes ago. I've got a lot of things going through my mind."

Getz was optioned to Triple-A Omaha briefly at midseason and returned to the Storm Chasers in August when rehabbing from a knee injury, one of several he endured with Kansas City.

"There were some things that popped up that obviously took away from my games played," he said.

In 2012 he was on the disabled list three times with a left leg strain, a left ribcage bruise and a left thumb fracture, limiting him to 64 games. His 2010 season ended in mid-September because of a concussion.

Getz was obtained from the White Sox prior to the 2010 season along with infielder Josh Fields in exchange for infielder-outfielder Mark Teahen. In four seasons, Getz played 332 games for the Royals with a .248 average, 79 RBIs and 61 stolen bases.

Now he's on the free-agent market.

"It's part of the game," Getz said. "Obviously I enjoyed my time in Kansas City. Lot of great people, teammates, organization from top to bottom is one of the best out there. I had a lot of good moments and they're obviously going in a good direction. I wish I could've been part of it a little bit longer."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for

Kansas City Royals, Chris Getz