Royals use $10M option on Davis, $6.5M option on Escobar
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Royals exercised club options on All-Star closer Wade Davis and shortstop Alcides Escobar on Friday, while designated hitter Kendrys Morales and starter Edinson Volquez declined their mutual options.
Davis will make $10 million next season and Escobar will earn $6.5 million.
The Royals also declined their mutual option on Kris Medlen after the right-hander exercised his portion of it. Medlen will join Morales and Volquez in free agency beginning Tuesday.
In other procedural moves, the Royals reinstated pitchers Tim Collins and Mike Minor and third baseman Mike Moustakas from the 60-day disabled list. That leaves their 40-man roster at 39 players.
The decision to retain Davis was expected despite two trips to the disabled list in July for a flexor strain in his right forearm. But the two-time All-Star was still among the most dominant closers in baseball, going 2-1 with a 1.87 ERA and 27 saves in 45 appearances.
Davis will be eligible for free agency next season.
Escobar's option also expected, though it's possible he could be traded away. He's a solid defensive shortstop and hit .261 with seven homers and 55 RBIs, but the Royals are also keen on Raul Mondesi Jr. at the position and have several other needs with a payroll that is already close to being maxed out.
Morales will leave a gaping hole in the lineup if the Royals are unable to lure him back in free agency. His average dipped to .263 in part because of a slow start last season, but he still showcased his power with 30 homers and 93 RBIs while playing in expansive Kauffman Stadium.
Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez were the only other Royals with at least 20 homers last season.
Volquez, who helped pitch the Royals to the World Series title last season, also seemed to backtrack this season. He went 13-9 with a 3.55 ERA in 2015 but was just 10-11 with 5.37 ERA this season.
Medlen was 1-3 with a 7.77 ERA in six starts, spending the bulk of the year on the disabled list.