Predicting contract terms for Kansas City Royals free agents
There’s a chance Cain could be a victim of previous comparable players. Guys like Denard Span and Dexter Fowler signed major contracts the past few years. Neither has been able to perform up to the numbers on the paper they signed.
Age and position are the common factors between Cain and those other players. Span signed for three years and $31 million entering his age-32 season. Fowler, meanwhile, entered his age-31 season after signing a five-year, $82 million deal with the Cardinals. For comparison, Cain will turn 32 in April. Those previous busts will make some teams turn to cheaper options. But a market still exists for a top-of-the-order bat and plus-defender.
Towards the end of the contract, Cain will be able to shift over to right field and not lose a beat. His speed will likely drop off in the coming years, but he should have a few productive seasons before hitting the proverbial wall. The potential landing spots for Cain are as numerous as any free agent on the market. From the Mets, to the Rangers, to the Giants, there are no shortage of viable destinations.
The question becomes what kind of contract is Cain in line to receive. Fowler’s deal, especially with Cain being a year older at the time of signing, could be enough to dissuade teams from giving him five years. It shouldn’t hurt his per-year earning, which should still wind up north of $16 million.
Verdict: four-year, $65 million contract