Last season, two small market A.L. teams, the Rays and Athletics, reach 90 wins. Both of these teams didn't use the lack of finances like an excuse. They knew their limitations and built 90 win teams on small budgets. The Royals have the same limitations, but didn't even sniff the 90 wins. Not even .500. Here is how each team built their 2012 team and where the Royals went wrong.
To start with, here is the breakdown of Tampa's salary and production by pre-arbitration, arbitration eligible, and free agents.
For players who have a contract that covers their pre-arbitration and arbitration years, I counted their salary towards the category they would have fallen in considering their playing time. For example with Sal Perez, his $.75M contract is counted towards the pre-arbitation players, not free agents.
Also, the total amount of pre-arbitration players may be high as I just gave each player $0.5M in salary if they didn't have a contract and didn't look at their playing time.
Royals Need to Sign Productive Free Agents
Royals Review | Jan 8