The Kansas City Royals have reached an agreement with right hander Felipe Paulinoon a one-year contract for 2013, avoiding arbitration. Paulino was a third-time eligible player and MLBTradeRumors had projected a $2.7 million salary for the pitcher.
Instead, Paulino signed for a mere $1.75 on a deal that, with incentives, could be worth an even $2 million. It’s actually worth $150k less than the $1.9 million Paulino made last season.
Paulino underwent Tommy John surgery in July, which is the whole reason for the pay cut. He’s not expected to be ready to pitch for the Royals until at least mid-season. The 29-year-old righty has found a home with the Royals, pitching to a 3.55 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) since coming over from the Astros (he had a 5.83 ERA in three seasons with Houston).
Paulino made seven starts prior to his injury in 2012 and struck out more than a batter per inning while posting a sparkling 1.67 ERA. Even with the injury, it’s tough to see why Paulino would have settled for anything less than a slight raise in pay. The Royals continue to search for starting pitching and have reportedly been shopping veterans Luke Hochevar and Bruce Chen in order to clear payroll space to make a run at adding another front-line arm. Hochevar is a candidate to be non-tendered.