When the Kansas City Royals traded Zack Greinke, I was heartbroken. I know they weren’t going to re-sign him—and I know he didn’t want to be here—but Zack Greinke was MY guy. As a young pitcher, I hated the trade.
Lorenzo Cain epitomized what the Royals were all about during their playoff runs. Put the ball in play consistently. Run like there is no tomorrow. Play elite defense. Cain was a metaphorical checklist of everything the Kansas City Royals wanted in a player.
Which is why I think the Royals are going to do everything in their power to bring him back in 2018.
The Royals don’t have anyone to adequately fill Cain’s shoes in center field next season. They don’t have anyone to fill out the middle of the lineup in his absence. They don’t have anyone to help lead the team when a number of new, young faces come to the big leagues next spring.
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To be clear, signing Cain wouldn’t exactly fit the mold of a “rebuild.” But that’s kind of the point. I think Moore believes this team isn’t far from competing. Signing Cain allows the Royals’ metaphorical window to remain cracked, avoiding a total closure.
Cain doesn’t help this team get younger, but he does keep the athleticism train rolling. Cain still plays an elite defensive center field and stole over 20 bases last season, which has tremendous value for this Royals team.
Kansas City drafted who I believe to be their center fielder of the future this past June. And a Lorenzo Cain contract allows them to remain ahead of the curve at the position until Michael Gigliotti is ready to take over.
Prediction: Lorenzo Cain remains in KC for four years and $52 million.