The Royals are pushing to contend in 2017 but if the team is out of the race in July, GM Dayton Moore has told outside executives that impending free agents Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar will all be available, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Moore stopped short of completely confirming this report, though he did tell Sherman that “we would have to consider it [a fire sale] if things do not go right.” 2017 has long been seen as the last year of the Royals’ run of contention with this core group, though the team is considering pursuing a reunion with at least one or two of the quartet this winter once they hit free agency. As the Yankees did with Aroldis Chapman last season, K.C. could deal several of their free agents to reload on prospects or MLB-ready talent and then try to re-sign one or more of the traded players back onto the roster. Sherman figures the Mets will keep tabs on Cain and/or Moustakas given their uncertainty in center field and third base.
Here’s some more from around baseball…
- There’s no set timetable for when a rebuilding team should start trying to compete again, as C. Trent Rosencrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer hears from several general managers who have either led their teams through rebuilds or are currently within the process of building for the future. The Cubs’ blueprint for rebuilding seems to have worked perfectly, though GM Jed Hoyer noted that the team’s decision to spend on veteran talent following an 89-loss season in 2014 was made in part because too much losing would’ve been detrimental. “We were very concerned about a losing culture and bringing up our young players. If you bring your players up in a culture that accepts losing, at some point it’s going to have a negative impact on those guys,” Hoyer said.
- Now that he is finally healthy, Carlos Quentin felt he owed it to himself to give baseball one more shot, the veteran outfielder tells Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. “I didn’t want to look back five years from now and say, ’I should have just picked up the phone and made a call and swallowed my ego and pride and done it the right way,’ ” Quentin said. The Red Sox signed Quentin to a minor league deal this winter, and at age 34 and having not appeared in a big league game since July 26, 2014, Quentin is comfortable with the fact that he faces a long road to crack Boston’s deep roster.
- The Dodgers have the more “dead money” on their payroll than any other team in baseball, Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards observes. Los Angeles has $47.4MM committed to players who are not on their 40-man roster (whether they’ve been traded, released or are still in the organization but just not on the 40-man) this season. The Padres ($35.1MM), Yankees ($26.5MM), Angels ($22.4MM) and Red Sox ($22.3MM) round out the top five, though San Diego is by far the leader in terms of dead money as a percentage of overall payroll. A whopping 54.8% of the Padres’ 2017 payroll is going towards players who are no longer on the team’s 40-man roster — Melvin Upton Jr., James Shields, Hector Olivera and Jedd Gyorko.