With many core players set to hit free agency, the Kansas City Royals may look very different in 2018. One guy they want to bring back is first baseman Eric Hosmer.
“Word is, they are willing to make a serious offer (presumably $100 million plus) to Hosmer, though they expect some big-market competition, perhaps from the Boston Red Sox, possibly the New York Yankees, or others,” Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported. “The Royals can’t be sure they can outbid interested big-market teams, but they put a high value on Hosmer.”
If the Royals are putting that much money into Hosmer, it would make it exceptionally difficult (if not impossible) for the team to bring back other free agents like third baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielder Lorenzo Cain.
Hosmer being the priority makes sense from a few perspectives.
One is that he’s having another fantastic year. Hosmer entered play on Thursday hitting .319/.385/.496 with 24 home runs and 92 RBI. He’s also a three-time Gold Glove winner.
Additionally, Hosmer is young. He’s set to turn 28 in October.
If the Royals were still contending, it might make more sense to retain older veterans like Moustakas and Cain to extend the run. But since winning the World Series in 2015, Kansas City finished 81-81 in 2016, and entered Thursday’s game at 78-80 in 2017.
Given that, and the fact that the Royals are certainly a small-market team, at least a minor rebuild would seem to be in order. So, keeping the guy who would likely be around when the team is ready to compete again only makes sense.