Sporting Kansas City unveiled the 12 players (plus Homegrowns) they are protecting for Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft between Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC. The fan and pundit reactions have been strong, but let’s provide a little context.
Below we’ll break down who was out of contract, who has years left on their contract (or has option years) and what each player made in 2019 (as we don’t know the 2020 numbers yet).
We’ll start with those out of contract.
Out of Contract Players
Nicolas Hasler - $183,666.67
Rodney Wallace - $360,000.00
These two make complete sense. They are both unlikely to return either due to international status (Hasler) or injury and contract size (Wallace). They are unlikely to be selected because they can be picked up via other offseason mechanisms if the teams really want them (re-entry draft, free agency, etc.).
Players with Guaranteed 2020 (or beyond) Contracts
Botond Barath - $297,333.41
Andreu Fontas - $1,050,000.00
Fontas is no surprise. He suffered a serious injury and will be out 4-5 months. Plus he’s paid a lot of money for very little production. Barath on the other hand makes a much more reasonable wage and is a solid player. His international status could impact him, but Mike Jacobs of Nashville could want to steal from his old team.
Fontas is guaranteed through 2022. Barath is guaranteed through 2020 with an option for 2021.
Players with 2020 Contract Options (or beyond)
All of the below players are currently out of contract but can have their 2020 option picked up. The deadline for that is November 21st.
Seth Sinovic - $143,000.00
Jimmy Medranda - $155,004.00
Eric Dick - $73,699.58
Krisztian Nemeth - $1,063,666.71
Gideon Zelalem - $77,916.67*
Benny Feilhaber - $463,400.00
Most of these make sense quickly. Sinovic has been drafted before and he promptly retired. No one will pick him. Feilhaber has been traded before and has a significant wage. Nemeth is likely to have his 2019 option declined based on production and salary. Dick is clearly 3rd on the depth chart at GK with Adrian Zendejas getting protected. And even Zelalem is likely to be gone because of his increased wages and lack of playing time.
The shocker (for me) is Medranda. He’s cheap. He plays lots of spots. He’s exactly the type of player that gets taken in an Expansion Draft (see: Blessing, Latif).
Sinovic, Medranda, Nemeth and Feilhaber just have 2020 options on their deals. Dick and Zelalem have 2020 and 2021 options.
*Zelalem is due a big raise in 2020, but it hasn’t been released what that wage is.
All salaries above are guaranteed 2019 compensation.
If you are interested in everyone on Sporting KC’s wages and contract options, we’ve got you covered: