Why the Kansas City Royals Should Keep Mike Moustakas
By Justin Jones
It’s almost here. The Kansas City Royals free agency nightmare we all knew was coming. Here’s why the answer to which star player should be the top re-signing target is Mike Moustakas.
The Kansas City Royals are coming into an offseason where the core of the World Series team will get the opportunity to face free agency. Realistically, the organization will only be able to keep one of them.
Mike Moustakas has to be the guy the Kansas City Royals keep.
When looking at who to re-sign, it is important to look at who is going to best be able to live up to their contract at the best price.
Eric Hosmer would be able to lead this team and perform well. But based on the contract he is rumored to want, a 10-year deal worth $20 million a year would handcuff the Kansas City Royals in the future. A small-market team like the Royals has to depend on the draft and developing players in order to compete.
Not large contracts.
Lorenzo Cain will probably be cheaper but may not have much production left. He is getting slower, and—while still hitting well—will probably begin to regress.
Moustakas gives the Kansas City Royals the best bang for the buck. He also gives them the best chance for the future.
He can help keep the team competitive in the short-term and build toward something in the future. Likely, he would not get as many years as Hosmer is asking for. I think he will get somewhere around four to five years.
This year, Moustakas has stepped up and led the team in home runs with 36 through Monday’s game. At some point, he will lead the franchise in single-season home runs. (He’s currently tied for the record with Steve Balboni.)
This is how general manager Dayton Moore has been building the team. He wants power in the Kansas City Royals lineup, and Moustakas provides that better than Hosmer or Cain.
How does depth look?
Although the Royals have some depth at third base, Cheslor Cuthbert and Hunter Dozier have not proven themselves as well as Moose has. As Moustakas ages, he can easily move to the designated hitter spot.
If Hosmer leaves, Cuthbert or Dozier could move to first base. The Kansas City Royals also have Brandon Moss who could play there. The minor league system also showed some potential in Frank Schwindel and Ryan O’Hearn this season, but they still need a little more time.
As for replacing Cain, Alex Gordon or Paulo Orlando could move to center field next year. In the farm system, there were not many stand-out options. Bubba Starling looked like he has improved but got injured earlier in the year.
With the core becoming free agents at the end of the season, Moustakas should be the Kansas City Royals’ main priority to re-sign during the offseason rebuild of the team.
Next: How the Royals' Playoff Hopes Look
Do you agree? If not, who do you think should be the top target? Let us know in the comments or on social media.