With Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar all hitting free agency, this offseason will mark the end of an era in Royals history. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star looks back at those players’ most memorable moments with the team, and as you might expect, those moments line up with the Royals’ postseason runs in 2014 and 2015. It’s unclear how many of the free agents, if any, will be back in K.C. next season; over 39% of respondents in a recent poll of MLBTR readers felt that Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas will all be playing elsewhere in 2018. Still, there’s no question that the Royals and their fans enjoyed some wonderful memories with this core group or stars, highlighted by the 2015 World Series title.
Some more from around the AL Central…
- The rebuilding White Sox face several pros and cons about potentially dealing Jose Abreu, CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes writes. Abreu’s trade value is high in the wake of an excellent season, and since he turns 31 in January and is only controlled through the 2019 season, it isn’t clear if he’ll be still around or still productive when the Sox are again contenders. On the other hand, Abreu is a respected clubhouse mentor (an important role for such a young team) and he keeps in excellent shape, so he could ward off the usual decline that hits players as they get into their 30s.
- 2017 has been a struggle for ByungHo Park, who spent the entire season in the minors. While Park has yet to deliver on his four-year, $12MM contract, Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that “we have every expectation he’ll remain at this point” rather than explore a return to South Korean baseball. In fact, Park will be spending much of the offseason in North America, working out at the Twins’ facilities. The first baseman posted a .684 OPS over 244 plate appearances for the Twins in 2016, then hit .253/.308/.415 with 14 homers over 455 PA for Triple-A Rochester this season. Despite these struggles and some injuries, Park has dealt with his situation “incredibly professionally,” Falvey said.