Kansas City, Mo. Five Kansas City Royals beat the Monday night salary arbitration deadline.
First baseman Mike Sweeney, first baseman-outfielder Dave McCarty, catcher Gregg Zaun and pitchers Jeff Suppan and Brian Meadows got in under the wire, leaving the club tied for most pending cases among American League teams.
The next step will come Thursday, when both sides exchange salary offers. Hearings begin Feb. 1 and run through Feb. 21. The two sides can continue to negotiate until an arbitrator reaches a decision.
The Royals want a multiyear deal with Sweeney, who set a club record last season with 144 RBIs. Sweeney made $2.25 million last year in base salary.
Suppan made $1.45 million in 2000. He was voted the club's pitcher of the year after finishing 10-9 with a 4.94 ERA. He also led the Royals in wins in 1999.
Zaun, who made $525,000 last year, projects as the team's starting catcher after batting .274 with seven homers and 33 RBIs in 83 games.
Meadows, who was 6-2 with a 4.77 ERA, received $360,000 last year.
McCarty, who earned $325,000 last season, set career highs with 12 homers, 53 RBIs and a .278 average in a variety of roles.