Kansas City Royals: Revisiting Extending Lorenzo Cain

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 4: Lorenzo Cain /

The Kansas City Royals need to retain as many of their upcoming free agents as possible if they want to avoid taking a step back. They will not resign everyone so they need to have a prioritized list.

At the beginning of the season I speculated that the player the Kansas City Royals needed to have at the top of their list was Lorenzo Cain. Many people disagree with me. I will make the statement now that my belief has not changed.

While I understand the desire to keep Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas as Kansas City Royals long term, the reality of it is that both players are going to get paid. Paid in a big way. That nearly guarantees their exit from the team.

I am not saying that Cain will not cash in this winter, but that his price tag should be something the Kansas City Royals can afford. However, the cost is not the reason I’m convinced he needs to be patrolling center field next season. He has put up a solid year for the Royals.

I am not alone in realizing how important Cain has been to this team in 2017:

If you haven’t paid attention to exactly what LoCain has been up to let’s take a look.

Lorenzo Cain by the numbers.

Offensively Cain appears to be the best offensive contributor behind Hos. Removing Melky Cabrera (doing so since he has only been on the team just over a month) Cain’s performance ranks as follows.

  • Batting Average: .298 (Second)
  • On Base Percentage: .361 (Second)
  • Slugging Percentage: .446 (Fifth)
  • Hits: 155 (Second)
  • Doubles: 25 (Third)
  • Triples: 5 (T-First)
  • Homeruns: 14 (Seventh)
  • Runs Batted In: 46 (Fifth)
  • Stolen Bases: 24 (Second)
  • Base on Balls: 48 (Second)

I believe that those numbers speak for themselves. If you would like to argue against them please feel free. What they say to me is that this is a player that still has a major impact on the performance of this team.

Not only that but he has remained healthy.

Yes, I understand that Cain is the oldest of the “core” free agent players. I also know that he has struggled with health issues in the past. Maybe he eventually moves to a corner outfield spot, but for right now let’s focus on this fact: Cain has played in 137 games in 2017.

That is second behind Hosmer and Alcides Escobar who are tied for the team lead with 141 games played.

Cain has logged over 1100 innings in center field for the Kansas City Royals this season. That is an excellent sign. In those innings he has shown that he is still one of the top defensive CF in the game. He has put up a .982 fielding percentage.

All of this adds up to a 4.5 WAR rating for Lorenzo. So there are your numbers, make with them what you will.

I am not a huge numbers guy.

Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals /

Kansas City Royals

I like to believe what I see and what my gut tells me. I see a player who is always smiling. A player who is best friends with the player many consider the face of the Kansas City Royals franchise, catcher Salvador Perez.

That sounds like someone Dayton Moore is going to want in that clubhouse as the team looks to bring in younger players in 2018. Not only can he be a veteran leader for the young guys, but his positive attitude will be a welcomed addition through stretches where the team struggles.

There is also no clear replacement in center field. A major factor for me.

If Cain goes elsewhere the most likely scenario appears to be that Alex Gordon takes over CF duty. I don’t know about you, but even though I’m a big Gordo fan I would much rather trust Cain in center than A1.

Cain is already 31 years old. He is not going to require the same number of years as Hos and Moose Would a three year deal get it done? Perhaps and if so then it should be at a price that puts the Kansas City Royals in the bidding.

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What are your thoughts on Lorenzo Cain? How high on the Kansas City Royals priority list does he need to be? Am I fooling myself? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.