The Kansas City Royals have stated their intention of keeping the core of their team for the long term. In the case of Eric Hosmer, there appears to be mutual interest.
Asking any player if they have interest in resigning with the team they are playing for is a bit of a loaded question. By answering in the affirmative, it gives the fanbase hope that the player will remain loyal to their team, only to be disappointed should they blot via free agency. A negative answer, meanwhile, will thrust that player into the ire of those same fans, as they know that they already have a foot out the door and are looking for greener pastures elsewhere.
That was the situation that Eric Hosmer found himself in yesterday. When asked about remaining with the Royals, Hosmer stated that he would be interested in a long term extension to remain in Kansas City.
"“It’s not like if [general manager] Dayton [Moore] came knocking on my door to talk about [a long-term contract] I would say no. Of course, not,” Hosmer said. “But also, having just won a championship, it’s not like you go making any demands to Dayton, either.”"
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Hosmer also continued, stating that moving to a market such as New York or Los Angeles for marketability was not important. His focus is on winning championships, which, if Moore can keep the Royals core together as he intends, leads Hosmer to feel his best chance at another title would be in Kansas City.
Already, some of the steps towards keeping the core together have been made. Alex Gordon is back for four more years, and the Royals are reportedly starting talks with Salvador Perez on another extension. Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain have each signed two year extensions, with the idea that the Royals will look to extend one, if not both, further. These moves would certainly be enough to validate Hosmer’s belief that the Royals are looking to keep that window of opportunity open for as long as possible.
For the Royals, such an extension, should it occur, would make sense. Not only is the three time defending Gold Glove first baseman a vital part of the Royals defensive mindset, but he may be about to tap into his potential on offense. After years of tantalizing with his ability, Hosmer had a relatively complete season last year, posting a .297/.363/.459 batting line, good enough for a career best 122 OPS+. Even if he is not likely to be a thirty home run hitter in Kansas City, Hosmer’s 18 home runs and 33 doubles fit into the Royals lineup quite well.
Hosmer may also find that, much like Gordon, he is more valuable to the Royals than any other team. A player without premium power at a position where it is expected, Hosmer’s high contact, gap power and stellar glove play up within the confines of Kauffman Stadium. Would another team be willing to spend over $100 Million, the likely rate for a player who will be 28 when he hits free agency, on someone who is more of a Mark Grace clone than a Chris Davis?
Eric Hosmer and the Kansas City Royals may have mutual interest in a long term extension. Given his value to the team and skillset, Hosmer may find his best bet is to remain in Kansas City.