Backloaded deal means Kennedy will make $7.5M with Royals in 2016

The Kansas City Royals recently signed free agent right-hander Ian Kennedy to a five-year deal worth $60 million, but the terms of his deal don't break down evenly per year.

As Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported on Twitter Wednesday morning, Kennedy's contract is actually backloaded, something that could benefit the 2016 Royals:

Ian Kennedy breakdown: 7.5M in '16, 13.5M in '17, 16M in '18, 16.5M in '19, 16.5M in '20. $70M guarantee. #royals

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 27, 2016

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With the club paying close attention to its finances, even coming off a World Series title, only paying Kennedy $7.5 million in 2016 could create some flexibility this season should the club need to address any issues during the summer.

The Royals' window of opportunity may be growing smaller as more of their supremely talented young players continue heading toward pay raises, but the addition of Kennedy should help solidify the 2016 staff and set them up for some stability over the next few years, whether they fall back to the pack or remain one of the AL's elite clubs.