All three Kansas City Royals players who received qualifying offers will reportedly reject them and enter free agency. The report also indicates the six non-Royals to receive the offers will reject them, too.
The Kansas City Royals extended one-third of the nine qualifying offers MLB players received this offseason. Franchise stalwarts Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas each landed the one-year, $17.4 million offer. All three are expected to reject them — as are the other six, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
This news shouldn’t serve as a surprise. None of the Royals who received a qualifying offer likely ever considered accepting it. There are only two reasons a player in their position would accept the offer. One would be if they think a single great year will earn them more money than they would get that offseason. The other would be if the amount significantly exceeds what they expected to earn in free agency. Had he received one, Jason Vargas would have fallen into the second group.
Why did the Royals extend the offers?
Essentially the qualifying offer is more for the team than the player. Granted a couple of players, Neil Walker and Jeremy Hellickson, accepted the offers last year, according to Heyman. While the Kansas City Royals knew the chances of Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas signing the offers were next to none, the team extended them for the compensation.
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For each of the three players who signs elsewhere, the franchise will receive a high draft pick. For the sake of argument, let’s assume all three leave — Hosmer to Boston, Cain to New York and Moustakas to Los Angeles. It’s looking increasingly likely that all three of those picks would come in the compensatory round following the first round. That’s because it appears each player will sign a contract for more than $50 million. Should any fall below that threshold, the draft pick would come as part of Competitive Balance Round B, which comes after the second round.
If any of the three players re-sign with Kansas City, the Royals forfeit a pick. There’s no scenario where all three stay, but the team is apparently holding out hope Hosmer and Moustakas can be retained. Should that happen, the franchise holds onto corner infield studs while adding an extra draft pick. That’s a pretty solid best-case scenario.
What do you think, fans? Will the Kansas City Royals re-sign any of their top free agents? Would you prefer the draft picks to the mega-contracts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and on social media.