The Royals are holding out hope that they’ll be able to re-sign first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas, but they’ve “all but given up” on bringing back center fielder Lorenzo Cain, Jon Heyman of FanRag reports. Hosmer and Moustakas figure to collect two of the largest contracts of the offseason, which could pose a problem for small-market Kansas City, but owner David Glass believes the Royals would stay competitive by re-upping the homegrown duo and doesn’t want to “disappoint” the team’s fan base by letting either go, Heyman relays. Before Hosmer, Moustakas and Cain officially hit the market, each will have to reject $17.4MM qualifying offers from the Royals by Nov. 16. Unsurprisingly, that will happen, according to Heyman.
Here’s the latest from the National League Central:
- With their control over outfielder Andrew McCutchen and right-hander Gerrit Cole dwindling, the Pirates would be wise to listen to offseason proposals for both players, Buster Olney of ESPN opines. McCutchen, who will make $14.5MM in the final year of his contract in 2018, will “almost certainly” be in another uniform in 2019, writes Olney. Cole, meanwhile, is controllable via arbitration through ’19, and Olney argues that now may be the time to move the Scott Boras client because the Pirates probably won’t be able to extend him. Elsewhere on the Bucs’ roster, Olney points to righty Ivan Nova and lights-out closer Felipe Rivero as speculative trade pieces. Nova’s unspectacular, but he’d garner interest as a capable innings eater who’s due an affordable $9.1MM-plus per annum through next year. Rivero is only entering the first of four arb-eligible years and would likely warrant a massive return for a reliever, leading Olney to conclude that the Pirates should consider dealing him.
- The Cardinals are interested in upgrading the left side of their infield, perhaps by way of a Josh Donaldson acquisition and/or the addition of a defensively gifted shortstop, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests. This isn’t the first time the Cardinals have been connected to Donaldson, but the Blue Jays are unlikely to trade the soon-to-be 32-year-old in advance of 2018, his final season of team control. The 2015 AL MVP is projected to rake in a $20.7MM arbitration award this offseason.
- Second baseman Neil Walker is currently a free agent, so the Brewers will have to decide whether to pursue him (or another outsider) or simply stay in-house at the position, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel observes. The Brewers have experienced second base possibilities on hand in Jonathan Villar, Eric Sogard and Hernan Perez, but there may not be an ideal starter in the group. While general manager David Stearns seems to believe the Walker-less Brewers are in good shape at the keystone, he’s keeping his options open. “I do think we have pieces to handle it internally,” Stearns said. “I would be happy coming back with our same position player group, if that’s the way this offseason plays out. At the same time, we’re looking to get better.”