There is a reported chance the Kansas City Royals could keep Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Here’s a look at how the team could theoretically pull it off.
The Kansas City Royals might just sign two of their big three free agents after all. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the franchise will make a push to sign Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas this offseason. The report backs up a prediction MLB.com columnist Jim Duquette made last Monday.
Personally, I still don’t see a way where both are in Kansas City next season. People can debate the “should” when it comes to re-signing any combination of these players. But despite Heyman’s report and Duquette’s prediction, there would need to be a lot of things to fall into place for it to happen.
How it could happen
The most obvious thing needed to happen is for the market to fail to form. After the 2015 World Series, all reports indicated Alex Gordon was as good as gone. Then the Cubs signed Jason Heyward, and other teams didn’t value Gordon as highly as Kansas City did. All that added up to the left fielder returning to the Royals on a four-year, $72 million deal.
For this Hosmer-and-Moustakas scenario to play out, the Yankees will need to stay disinterested in the Kansas City Royals corner infielders. If New York makes a run at either player, they will be in pinstripes next season. Thankfully, it appears that won’t happen. It would make more sense for them to chase Moustakas with Todd Frazier hitting the free agent market. Speaking of Frazier, it would help if he becomes the hot commodity at the hot corner instead of Moustakas.
In regards to Hosmer, the biggest factor to his final contract terms will be how involved the Red Sox are in the pursuit. If Boston legitimately targets Hosmer, there isn’t much Kansas City, Colorado or anyone else can do — save for New York. However, it’s looking increasingly likely the Red Sox will pursue J.D. Martinez or Giancarlo Stanton instead of Hosmer. That opens the door for the Kansas City Royals to ink Hosmer to a much-more affordable contract.
How the Royals could afford it
The idea that the Kansas City Royals — or more specifically David Glass — don’t have the money to re-sign their free agents is misguided. To be sure, the team’s payroll has increased exponentially in recent seasons. While the organization has a decent amount of money guaranteed from 2018-20, beyond that things really open up.
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Hosmer appears set to receive a six- or seven-year deal, while Moustakas will likely sign on for five seasons. The first baseman and third baseman will almost certainly combine to earn $200-plus million this winter. If the front office is able to backload those contracts, the duo won’t be earning their big money until approximately 2022. That gives the Kansas City Royals time to get Gordon and Ian Kennedy off the books.
Again, I don’t expect it to happen, but the idea makes sense if the front office decides to take that approach. Currently, the only players on the 2021 payroll are Salvador Perez and Danny Duffy, adding Hosmer and Moustakas to that could build a solid veteran core. With the promising 2017 draft class set to reach maturation around that time, it could set up a perfect storm in about five years. One that could see the creation of the next great Kansas City Royals era.
What do you think? Will Hosmer return? What about Moustakas? Is it possible they both could? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and on social media.