Earlier this week The Royals stated that the primary focus for Hunter Dozier will be at first base and right field in Omaha. This raises questions about the plans for third base. Mike Moustakas has a one year deal with a mutual option but could there be more to it.
How Dozier’s position affects the rest of the farm.
The Royals have some decisions to make. Hunter Dozier will be spending most of his playing primarily at first base. This will block playing time for some other potential first baseman. Frank Schwindel and Ryan O’Hearn have been looked at as potential stopgaps until Nick Pratto was ready to for the Major Leagues. With Dozier getting a majority of his starts at first it makes you question where the at-bats for Schwindel and O’Hearn will come from on a consistent basis.
While putting him in right field does not block as many players. There are still concerns there. It is not his natural position. Why would they spend the time developing him there? Right field has a few options in Billy Burns and Donnie Dewees.
The plan for Moose
Mike Moustakas signed a team friendly deal in the middle of Spring Training. It keeps him in Kansas City this year for $5.5 million. Next year there is a mutual option that will keep him in Kansas City for about $15 Million. A few of us at Kings of Kauffman think that the Royals are looking long term on Moustakas and will seek to extend him a few more years. Moustakas will likely want to extend because the market for third basemen next offseason already hurt his chances for a better deal this past offseason. The plan for Dozier makes that much more of a possibility from Kansas City’s perspective.
How this affects Cuthbert
In the short term, the Royals have to figure out what to do with Cheslor Cuthbert given all of the signings. He could platoon with Lucas Duda at first base or play at the designated hitter position while Jorge Soler plays in right field for the first half of the season. Long-term the Royals will likely have him at third base if an extension with Moustakas does not work out. In the meantime, Cuthbert will have to take advantage of every at-bat and show the organization and fans he deserves to be playing full time. This could make things tricky next year Moustakas does extend.
Third base seems to be locked up so it makes sense they would want Dozier to try other positions. If the Royals are going to extend Moustakas they need to do something with Cuthbert. Cuthbert looks to be the odd man out if Moustakas re-signs long-term. Trading him seems likely for a small return. Cuthbert is a good player but that is about it.
So what do you guys think Royals fans? Is this the likely future for the Royals on the corners? Let us know below!