Though the Royals reportedly made Eric Hosmer a contract offer that would’ve stood as the largest in franchise history, GM Dayton Moore says that the club’s long time first baseman and fan favorite “took the better offer” in choosing the Padres (via Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star). One big difference between the two offers was that Kansas City never included an opt-out clause; Hosmer’s deal with the Padres contains one after his fifth season with them. Of course, that contract is also believed to guarantee him more years and overall dollars than the offers he reportedly received from the Royals. In addition, the offer from the Royals was apparently more “back-loaded”. Moore adds that he had a “pretty good sense about four days ago” that Hosmer wouldn’t be returning. Though he still held out hope, it was at that point that he began to “develop a mindset” that the club was probably going in a different direction.
More rumblings around the league following last night’s big news…
- Now that Hosmer has officially signed elsewhere, the Royals are saying that they plan to move forward with a rebuild, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports. The club also says that they don’t plan to pursue any more marquee free agents. Rumors in the past 24 hours have connected the Royals with outgoing third baseman Mike Moustakas (at least in theory), but Nightengale’s sources would seem to throw some cold water on the idea of a reunion between the two. A similar report from ESPN’s Buster Olney runs parallel with that of Nightengale.
- Manager Ned Yost texted Hosmer multiple times over the offseason, reports Jeffrey Flannagan of MLB.com. Yost never heard back, and jokingly says that he didn’t get a response even when he was “on [his] death bed.” Dodd reports that Yost (and Moore) really wanted Hosmer back, and believed that his legacy would be “cemented” in Kansas City.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star argues that fans are missing the point by focusing on Hosmer’s departure, when they should be focused on the moments he created during his tenure in Kansas City. Mellinger describes Hosmer as having “something like the perfect Royals career.” He cites myriad memorable moments from Hosmer’s time with the club, including his call up and playoff contributions.
- The Padres are “more than a player away” from being a good baseball team, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports argues. However, he also makes the case that Hosmer may still be around when the team is able to “get it right”. Eight years is a long time, after all, and the Friars have players like Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Fernando Tatis Jr. who could be on the cusp of greatness. In addition, they have a strong farm system that can produce yet more great players. Brown makes the case that the signing makes some level of sense because Hosmer is simply a really good baseball player, and adds that this contract is the story Padres fans will be hearing “until the Padres are good again or until it’s clear they won’t be.”