It is one thing to tender a player not yet eligible for free-agency, but in most cases all that does is raise the possibility of salary arbitration. The Kansas City Royals, however, did better than that with pitcher Felipe Paulino and second baseman Chris Getz. Both have already been signed to 2013 contracts with the club and although both had injury riddled seasons in 2012 in both cases it is a good move.
Paulino was an obvious mark for retention. He started the year on the disabled list and missed the first month of the season then missed the last four months of the season with Tommy John surgery. He is not expected to pitch again until midseason in 2013. But during the one month he pitched in Kansas City last year he put up a 3-1 record in seven starts and a staggering 1.67 ERA. In only two of his seven starts did he even give up an earned run. If he can put up even something like those numbers upon his return next year he will be a key cog in the middle rotation and the Royals have done well to get him signed so soon.
The return of Getz was more questionable. Getz platooned with Yuniesky Betancourt at second base for the first four months of the season, before getting the job full time when Betancourt was dropped for his negative attitude. (Which happened at least three months too late, but never mind.) Getz had already missed some time to injury and he had only been the full time second baseman for a week when he broke his thumb trying to put down a bunt and was out for the season. Such is fate. He will be competing with Johnny Giavotella for the everyday job again out of Spring Training, but will certainly have a lot to offer by way of instruction to the younger player. One could see Giavotella’s glovework markedly improve by the end of last season and under the tutelage of the excellent Getz that should continue next year. Certainly it was the right move to bring Getz back.