Kansas City Royals: We have reached a strange place as fans

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Going into the off-season, Dayton Moore made it clear that the Kansas City Royals were going to make first baseman Eric Hosmer their number one priority. At first, most fans seemed to be on board with this. However, as time goes on things seem to be a bit different.

We have reached a very strange place in the world of baseball. Not only are many notable free agents still have not signed, but the Royals and fanbase find themselves in an interesting position.

For years, the Royals have seemingly adopted the role of being a “farm system” for the rest of baseball. The team has always been reluctant, or unable, to sign homegrown players to long-term deals. For obvious reason, this has driven fans nuts. 

Royals fans have watched as homegrown talents like Johnny Damon and Carlos Beltran being traded because they would not be able to extend them. Most recently, Zack Greinke was traded because the Royals were not successful and they knew he would walk. Watching homegrown/fan favorite players leave or be traded was a common thing for Royals fans.

2016 was the first year the Royals seemed willing to bring back a fan favorite destined to play somewhere else. The Royals brought back Alex Gordon on a four-year, $72 million deal. Shortly after they extended Gordon they signed Ian Kennedy to a five-year, $70 million deal. 

Then the Royals made to in-house moves that surprised a lot of people in baseball. They managed to get Danny Duffy to agree to an extension (five=years, $65 million) and “extended” Salvador Perez to a five=year, $52.5 million deal. They finally started spending money to keep their homegrown talent in Kansas City!

Some of these deals became some of the franchises highest contracts. This caught fans by surprise because the Royals had never given a contract over $55 million. Unfortunately, not all of those contracts have not been greatest contracts so far for the Royals based on the player’s production.

Which leads to an interesting question. Are fans scared about ramifications of giving another big contract now after begging for them because of past results?

The curious case of Eric Hosmer

Which leads me to the curious case of Eric Hosmer. Going into the off-season for the Royals, some of the fans were wanting the Royals to sign one, or some, of the Cour-Four.  Dayton Moore made it clear which one of the four he wanted back though. Conveniently, it was going to be the player that costs the most money. Moore made it clear he wanted Hosmer, and for the most part, fans agreed.

However, as time goes on, fans seem to be turning their backs on the idea of bringing Hosmer back. Whether it be for financial reasons, not worth the money, rebuilding reasons, or simply thinking he is being greedy, some fans seem ready to move on.

This is genuinely surprising because of the teams recent past. As a fanbase, we seem to be going from complaining about never spending money, opening up the checkbook, and keeping our own, to hoping that the Royals keep the finances down, closing the checkbook, and letting our own walk away.

I understand the notion that “he is being greedy” and “he is playing a game while making that much money, he should be happy with any contract he gets.” I will even listen to the “if he wanted to be in Kansas City then he would take the deal the Royals offered instead of asking for more money./years” I can listen to the “not paying a player that much during a rebuild conversation” but at the same time I do think you are discounting the return Hosmer brings.

All very valid points. However, those points tend to counter the main complaint fans have had for decades.

Final Thoughts

Avoid turning this into a “players being greedy” conversation. Think of where we were at one point. We always wanted the Royals to bring back homegrown talent, regardless of the cost. Moore has made it clear that he want’s to bring back a great homegrown talent.

(Yes, Hosmer is great. He is also someone who is doing things very few baseball players have ever done in baseball. A conversation for another time though)

But fans seem to be turning on the complaint they once had. Now fans want the Royals to close the checkbook. You have to admit, it is a very odd time in Kansas City!

So what do you think Royals fan? Do you think it’s odd where we are now? Are we discounting the value of Hosmer? Would we really be that upset if our homegrown talent started coming back and staying in Kansas City? Let us know your thoughts!