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Royals Re-Sign Jeremy Guthrie to Three-Year Deal


When word leaked out at the start of the free agency period that right hander Jeremy Guthrie was looking for a three year deal worth $34 million, I laughed.

I wasn’t alone.

Coming off a season that saw Guthrie pitch to a 6.35 ERA while in Colorado before being swapped for fellow disaster Jonathan Sanchez, there was no way Guthrie would get that kind of money. And he didn’t.

But the Royals did give Guthrie those three years and he’ll make a still healthy sum of $25 million in total.

Guthrie got the three years he was looking for. Image: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Guthrie has twice lead the American League in losses in the past four years and only once during that time did he post an ERA under 4.33. The Royals, I’m sure, would prefer to look at the excellent work he did once he escaped Coors Field when he tossed 90+ innings of 3.16 ERA ball in a half-season in KC. 14 starts against four seasons worth of data seems a poor sample size to base any decisions.

Fortunately, what Guthrie has lacked in effectiveness, he’s made up for in durability. From 2008-2011, Guthrie worked at least 190 innings in each season. He would have reached the mark last year as well if not for being so bad that the Rockies shifted him to the bullpen for a spell. He still wound up making 29 starts and working more than 180 innings.

The three-year deal isn’t outrageous for a pitcher who has shown the ability to eat innings the way Guthrie has and the money averages out to just over $8 million per year. If Guthrie is anything close to what he was during the second half with the Royals last year, that contract is a steal.

Chances are good that Guthrie is not that pitcher (he really hasn’t been in a while, if ever), but he’s probably better than he was in Baltimore just thanks to pitching in a better park for pitchers and not having to face the AL East near so often. If he’s a guy that gives them 200 innings and an ERA around 4.00, he’ll be worth every bit of the $8 million per year he’s getting.

All in all, this move solidifies the middle of the Kansas City rotation for the next three years.