KC Royals Trying To Keep The Party Going Past 2015

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Aug 23, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) and his teammates celebrate after scoring two runs against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hosmer

Signing Eric Hosmer to a long-term deal will be a challenge. The Kansas City Royals control him for two more arbitration years before he’s eligible to become a free agent after the 2017 season.

Part of the problem is he’s enjoying a breakout season in 2015, slashing .316/.378/.481 with his usual stellar defense. Eric Hosmer isn’t the proto-typical home-run happy first baseman, but he does have value for a team like the KC Royals whose formula for winning includes a great defense. And, even without having the traditional corner infielder power, Hosmer’s adjusted OPS (OPS+) is a more than acceptable 134 in 2015. [note: franchise icon George Brett posted a 135 OPS+ for his career]

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Another complication with keeping Eric Hosmer is that he’s represented by super-agent Scott Boras, who has built his reputation by regularly busting contract records for his clients. Boras clients hardly ever sign sweetheart deals for the home team.

While Hosmer’s non-traditional first base numbers might make the KC Royals think he’s a young cornerstone (he’s 25 this season) they can afford going forward, I doubt Scott Boras lets them get away with it. Boras will find some team who wants to emulate the Kansas City Royals winning formula, and sell them on the idea that Eric Hosmer would be a great place to start.

At the very least, Boras will try to convince Hosmer to see what the market has to offer in 2017. So, I doubt Dayton Moore will have much luck trying to extend him. In fact, I think Eric Hosmer is a prime candidate for a trade to replenish the farm system after dealing five pitching prospects to land Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist.

I expect the KC Royals to “cash in” Eric Hosmer this winter, or the next. I think the Hosmer extension rumors are to feel out where Boras and Hosmer are before Moore goes to the deal-fest at the winter meetings.

Next: Ben Zobrist