Kansas City Royals fans are loath to read anything that suggests Eric Hosmer won’t return for 2018. So if you are reading this, we thank you for playing along. In reality, Hosmer’s decision could determine the fate of the franchise. It might sound like hyperbole. But should the first baseman decide to leave, it seems to reason the organization will enter the kind of complete teardown on which this article is based.
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If the Kansas City Royals hadn’t signed Ian Kennedy to a ridiculous contract or re-signed Gordon to an increasingly awful deal, then the team would be much more likely to bring back Hosmer. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The team could still re-sign him, particularly if the market doesn’t turn out the way people are predicting. Contrary to some positions, the first baseman pool is fairly deep this offseason.
Hosmer should still be considered the best of the group, and arguably the top non-pitching free agent. He picked a perfect time for a career year. In 2017, he set personal-bests in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Hosmer also matched his most runs scored and home runs in a single season.
It’s likely Hosmer and agent Scott Boras will seek a seven-year deal. At worst, some team should lock him down for six years. Having just turned 28, Hosmer should have several top-notch seasons before a likely slide during the final few years of the contract. Most teams would take that, depending on how much money they sink into the former No. 3 overall pick.
The team most likely to pony up for Hosmer — outside of Kansas City — seems to be Boston. Heyman has also mentioned this possibility, and it makes a lot of sense. The Yankees appear ready to put their faith in Greg Bird, while most of the other major-market teams are also set at the position. Boston, though, will lose Mitch Moreland this winter. And Hosmer makes for a logical replacement.
Logical spot: Boston Red Sox
Fans, what do you think? Should the Royals go with a full rebuild or aim to compete in 2018? Let us know it the comments.