KC Royals first baseman is considering a contract extension, according to former Royals pitcher Mike Boddicker. Boddicker indicates that he “heard through the grapevine” that a such a deal is “close”.
Boddicker made these comments this afternoon on WHB 810 AM (Kansas City) radio host Steven St. John’s Border Patrol show. At this point, you can’t call these rumors exactly firm. But, the idea of an Eric Hosmer extension is interesting.
Early this season, Hosmer looked like he was having a year that might price him out of the Kansas City Royals reach. Hosmer appeared to be on his way to putting up high 20’s home run numbers, along with a .900 OPS. However, Hosmer has cooled in recent weeks to a still solid .288/.345/.448 slash line with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs in 375 at bats in 2016.
Right now, ESPN.com projects him to finish with 21 home runs and 88 RBIs. Those are still useful, productive numbers. But not the kind power production that many teams want from a guy that they’ll expect to carry their offense. While 21 home runs would still be a career-high for the 26-year-old Hosmer, it’s not that impressive total given the home-run explosion across the league in the 2016 season.
Those numbers look modest for a no. 4 hitter, but Hosmer also has the best CLUTCH hitting numbers of any player in major league baseball since the 2011 season (Hosmer’s rookie year). His ability to succeed in key situations makes Hosmer better than his triple slash or his WAR numbers might suggest.
While KC Royals fans would have liked seeing Hosmer establish himself as a centerpiece bat in 2016, his recent slide might make him accept a long term deal within the KC Royals budget. Hosmer has said many times that he loves playing in Kansas City, and doesn’t want to give up the close clubhouse chemistry he enjoys with the player he grew up with coming up through the Royals organization.
If the rumors are true and the KC Royals can indeed sign Eric Hosmer to a long term contract, the 2017 exodus of pending free-agents looks far less severe. Not only would a Hosmer signing help retain a viable veteran core along Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez, Hosmer’s return could help encourage other Kansas City Royals plays to sign for a hometown discount.