With Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Mike Moustakas all hitting free agency, there has been wide speculation that the Royals could be entering a rebuild phase. This is the general consensus around the league, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star writes, even if Hosmer is re-signed. The club itself is unsure about its contention plans for the immediate future, as the exact level of the rebuild is still in question — “club officials see rebuilding scenarios that include” Hosmer on the roster, Dodd writes. This would seemingly put K.C. in an awkward decision this winter, as spending nine figures to re-sign Hosmer doesn’t seem to make much sense for a team that already has an eye towards reloading its farm system, though GM Dayton Moore is reportedly not keen on the idea of a full teardown.
Here’s more from the AL Central…
- The Twins and Aaron Boone recently had mutual interest in a front office role before Boone was hired to be the Yankees’ new manager, according to Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (hat tip to 1500ESPN.com’s Darren Wolfson).
- The Indians are interested in a reunion with Austin Jackson “but at the right price,” according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Jackson proved to be a big bargain for the Tribe in 2017, as he signed a minor league deal and then hit an outstanding .318/.387/.482 over 318 plate appearances while seeing time at all three outfield positions. Jackson would bring a right-handed presence to a projected Cleveland outfield that currently features three left-handed hitters (Michael Brantley, Bradley Zimmer, Lonnie Chisenhall), though there’s certainly question as to whether Jackson can sustain his production, given his .385 BABIP from last season and his recent history of subpar offensive numbers.
- The Tigers figure to add multiple starting pitchers this winter, though as The Athletic’s Katie Strang notes, those arms will come in the form of inexpensive MLB and minor league signings and possibly a Rule 5 Draft pick. Names like Clay Buchholz, Drew Smyly or Nick Burdi could fit, though the latter two are recovering from Tommy John surgery and could be tough fits on the 40-man roster.