The Kansas City Royals have reportedly expressed increased pessimism about the possibility of retaining any of their big three free agents. There’s that and more in our latest rumor roundup.
With as much speculation as has been swirling, it’s clear the Kansas City Royals don’t have a set direction this winter. The team seems set to employ a wait-and-see approach. The problem with that is playing catch up if things don’t go their way.
In fact, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports the team might be accepting the reality that none of the big three (Hosmer, Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain) will be back:
It’s the kind of news Kansas City Royals fans can’t be excited to hear, especially this early into the offseason. On the other hand, it has to be said that the news shouldn’t come as a shock. The club’s ability to retain any of the aforementioned players always had more to do with everyone else (i.e. the market) than the team itself.
Jays and Mets interested in Cain
News of the increased pessimism wasn’t the only bit of Royals information Crasnick tweeted out on Tuesday. He also provided an update on the number of suitors of Cain:
The Mets have recently been seen as a major player in the Cain sweepstakes. Toronto, though, provides a more surprising contender given the likelihood of a rebuild for the Blue Jays.
Moustakas’ best fits
Speaking of the Mets, the team made FanRag Sports’ list of the top three best fits for Moustakas. Stacey Gotsulias also included the Giants and Angels among the possible destinations for the slugging third baseman.
San Francisco makes sense with a major need at third. However, as Crasnick mentioned above, the Giants seem to be pulled in about 100 different directions right now. It’s also possible they decide to stand pat this offseason.
The Angels have been mentioned as a possibility for several reasons. Los Angeles needs a third baseman, and it would make sense for Moustakas to desire a move home.
Hosmer to … San Diego?
There’s also a chance Hosmer winds up in Southern California — but not in LA. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who confirmed a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Padres have been interested in joining the chase for the highly coveted first baseman. While it would clearly be surprising for Hosmer to sign with San Diego, he wouldn’t be the first big-time player to join the Padres in recent years.
In the past few seasons, San Diego has brought in Matt Kemp, James Shields and Wil Myers, among others. The Padres have been unable to compete despite the money funneled into these players. That apparently hasn’t kept the organization from thinking it’s the best approach to competing.
While a player like Alcides Escobar makes more sense for a team looking to build talent, Hosmer would certainly boost the profile of the franchise. It would also mean Myers could undergo another position change. Regardless, the Padres would seem to be the definition of a long shot to land Hosmer.
Minor tops Houston wish list
It’s looking increasingly likely that Mike Minor will be a major target for the Astros this offseason. The World Series champion clearly needs to upgrade the bullpen with a left-handed option atop the list.
According to the Houston Chronicle‘s Jake Caplan, Minor will be the team’s top target at the position:
"Among them, Mike Minor appears as close to an ideal fit as exists for the Astros."
While the Astros have previously been reported as targeting Minor, there will be plenty of teams chasing his signature this winter. One of them could still be the Kansas City Royals. According to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, the team could bring him back as a reliever or possibly a starter. When the Royals signed Minor it was with the intent of him joining the rotation. That didn’t end up happening.
Flanagan, though, reports it could still be on the table. Here’s a quote from Dayton Moore in Flanagan’s piece:
"Even if Mike isn’t as dominant as a starter, and he could be dominant, he certainly can, you know you’ll get dominance from him in the bullpen as a one-inning guy or two-inning guy. He’s proved it. But I wouldn’t walk away from him if he wanted to start."
That being said, the early indication is Minor will clean up as an in-demand bullpen option.
Moylan targeted by Atlanta and Baltimore
One of the least-heralded free agents of the Kansas City Royals, Peter Moylan already has a few teams interested in him. According to Mark Bowman, MLB.com’s Braves beat writer, Atlanta and Baltimore have already shown interest in the right-hander:
The tweet clearly makes it sound like more than just those two teams have an interest in signing Moylan. He’s not a player who will close out games, but he can pitch most nights and get the outs required. In 2017, Moylan had a record of 0-0 with zero saves, despite his 79 appearances.
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Atlanta makes sense as a possible destination, because Moylan has spent eight years with the Braves, including the first seven seasons of his career. Meanwhile, Baltimore would be an interesting landing spot. The Orioles already have a submarining righty in Darren O’Day. Although, their interest could mean O’Day is on the trading block.
If Moylan signs elsewhere, it could mean none of the nine Royals free agents will return for 2018. That would be quite surprising, but it looks increasingly likely.
What do you think? Will the Royals re-sign any of their top free agents? Where could you see them landing? Let us know your thoughts.