Of the four longtime Royals regulars that hit the open market this winter, Alcides Escobar has re-upped with the team on a one-year deal while Lorenzo Cain has gone back to the organization that drafted him (the Brewers) on a five-year pact — the largest of the offseason to date. The other two, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, remain available for anyone to sign, and Kansas City GM Dayton Moore spoke about the reunion possibilities in an interview with Soren Petro of 810 AM’s The Program (all links to Twitter).
Hosmer, of course, has been a priority for the Royals all offseason. Moore made no effort to hide the fact that a long-term deal with Hosmer remains at the top of the team’s wishlist, with the two sides continuing to try to work out a deal. “We’ve had a lot of discussion over the last week,” said Moore of his talks with Hosmer’s camp. “I can’t say we’ve made much progress, but whenever you’re talking that not a bad thing.”
Kansas City’s offer was reported last week to be larger than the only other known seven-year offer received by Hosmer, which came from San Diego. And, much like Padres chairman Ron Fowler did last month, Moore suggested that there’s some hesitation from his own organization to push the envelope further.
“We’ve exchanged contract numbers,” the GM stated. “It doesn’t make sense for a team like us to set the market on a player like Hosmer.”
The Padres and Royals, to this point, essentially are the market for Hosmer, it seems — at least as far as teams willing to commit seven years. Both have made offers to the 28-year-old, and while it’s certainly possible that other teams would jump into the mix should Hosmer’s camp pivot and seek a shorter deal at a larger annual value, Hosmer’s agent Scott Boras is reportedly still pushing for a larger and longer offer than those presented to this point.
Despite the lack of movement on the Hosmer front, it doesn’t seem as if the Royals have a strong desire to change trajectory and re-engage with Moustakas — at least not until the Hosmer situation has been resolved one way or another. Moore made it clear that Hosmer is the team’s priority, while suggesting also that the feeling is somewhat mutual.
“We have options at third,” said Moore. “I wouldn’t say absolutely not. We want to make it clear that Hos is the player that fits us for the future. I want to get through the Hosmer negotiations before we work on Moustakas. … Moustakas had some expectations that were a little different, places he wanted to play. It was clear from the beginning that we weren’t a high priority.”
Indeed, the Royals do have players such as Cheslor Cuthbert and Hunter Dozier as options at the hot corner, to say nothing of some potential action there for Whit Merrifield or Raul Mondesi Jr., depending on how the organization decides to divide up infield time now that Escobar has been re-signed to handle the bulk of the playing time at shortstop. In theory, either Cuthbert or Dozier could play first base as well should Hosmer sign elsewhere, as assistant GM J.J. Piccolo has already suggested as much this offseason. But, the Royals reportedly relish the idea of keeping Hosmer in Kansas City and leveraging his leadership skills as a mentor for the next wave of young Royals talent.
For Moustakas, that marks the second time a general manager has gone on record in the past week to somewhat downplay the possibility of signing him — Mets GM Sandy Alderson did so last week — in addition to last night’s report that the Cardinals don’t seem to be a likely landing spot. While many free agents are struggling to find deals to their liking, many of the top names have at least received fairly lucrative offers, it seems. In addition to Hosmer’s pair of seven-year offers, Yu Darvish has reportedly received at least one five-year offer. The same holds true for J.D. Martinez, while Alex Cobb reportedly turned down a three-year offer from the Cubs worth about $42MM.
So far as has been reported publicly, Moustakas has not yet drawn clear interest or significant offers over the course of the offseason. Several on-paper fits for his services simply don’t have much in the way of financial flexibility, have addressed their needs via trade, or are in the midst of a rebuilding phase and may not be keen on the idea of parting with the requisite draft picks to sign him. Market forces haven’t helped, either. In particular, the Angels signed Zack Cozart to play third — occupying one plausible landing spot — while other teams may prefer the idea of pursuing the older Todd Frazier on a shorter contract.
If Moustakas elects to drop his asking price, it’s possible that his market could accelerate, and there’s certainly the possibility that a Spring Training injury to an established third baseman (especially on a contending club) could open the door for a new destination. For now, though, it still seems to be a waiting game.
Sounds like Boras is hindering his players ability to get signed due to his asking prices.
I’m sure Moose really wanted to go to the Angels, but priced himself completely out of their range.
I was thinking about that. If moose wouldn’t have priced himself out of the angels I think the offseason wouldn’t have been extremely slow. But cozart was there option because of a high price moose!
Agreed. When a player has a reported 7-year, almost $150M offer on the table, that agent can’t be screaming collusion. That offer can change generation after generation of Hosmer’s family. It’s his right to hold out for a larger deal, but Boras can kiss my Borass with his bickering about this offseason.
Exactly. Hosmer has two seven year offers in hand.
The team that ultimately lands him will IMHO regret it after a couple of seasons at the most. It’s utterly foolish to offer a guy as inconsistent as he has been the last 4 years (one year of 0.0 fWAR and one year of -0.1 fWAR) a seven year deal, but owners and GMs are free to be foolish.
Collusion? BS. Not when some teams are still this ‘stoopid’.
The only thing more stupid than Boras claiming collusion, is those who believe that he believes it. It’s a tool in his toolbox, for use purely to eek an extra buck out of the market, for the guys he represents. If Boras told you the sky was purple, would you think he actually believes that? No. He’s doing his job – nothing less. He’s hooked owners line and sinker for years – and it’s hilarious to see him doing it to fans too.
Moustakas seems like the big name player most likely to be unsigned when the season starts.
His best season and career numbers are similar to Chris Carter’s AND he has a qualifying offer attached to him.
His agent promised him the moon but he might not even get the Zach Cosart deal.
Idk why this comment gets so much props 6 likes to 0. Thats like saying an all world defender at shortstop with an ops of 800 is the same as a dh with an ops of 800
One plays an adequate 3B, a premium defensive postion. One plays Dh or can pretend to play 1B
But similar numbers hurr durr hurr
Owners are trying to manufacture hate on this site towards the agents/players. This is the first offseason here where people on this site are arguing that the billionaire owners are justified not spending money to improve their teams.
Name a team that Moose shifts from being a non playoff contender to being a playoff contender.
Wasting money doesn’t improve teams.
Not at all. People still expect owners to spend. For example, nobody is applauding the Marlins’ strategy, What people are applauding is teams that are deciding to spend the right amounts on the right players.
Owners are trying to manufacturing hate on here? What??? Baseball opinions are copycat just as the league is copycat league. If people see something is working ex tanking well then everyone supports it.
The league needs a draft lottery that will give teams less of a incentive to tank. If there’s less incentive to tank more teams would be spending money, probably not as much as the players want but who cares what the platers want they’lol never be happy.
I think the Braves may qualify, with a decent pitching rotation, Acuna, and incarte moose may be the piece that turns us into a contender.
With a decent pitching rotation is the correct qualifier. Right now signing Moose makes no sense unless it is on a 1 year deal.
You are right but how much do you think Moose’s defense is worth? Bear in mind that Chris Carter was released within the past calendar year.
Chris Carter was limited to 1B/DH. Moustakas as much as I think he’s overrated, he at least has a position he can field. He’s also really young.
He’s a year older than Pablo Sandoval was when he signed with Boston. And he has a similar body type unlikely to age well.
Is he more valuable than Carter? A better player? Yes.
But, he has a qualifying offer attached to him. His price might have to drop to an absurdly low level just to get a team to be willing to pay the compensation required.
“I can’t say we’ve made much progress, but whenever you’re talking that not a bad thing.”
A double negative statement, to issue non positive, neutral message?
This guy Moore has been been taking pointers from Sandy.
GM DM the English butcher lol
Actually, KC locking up that corner INF pair is probably best for all sides. KC might not be good now but they aren’t that far off.
Actually would be funny if a team (maybe KC?) just comes in and swoops all these FA’s out of nowhere. KC comes in and signs Hosmer, Moose, Holland, JDM, Darvish, Cobb and Arrieta! Those FA’s wouldn’t really be blocking anyone! They’re all a fit!
Big problem with that though….DM would NEVER spend that kind of money. If he got all of them for a huge discount, mayyyyyyybe he opens the wallet a little but I think he’s perfectly content on dropping payroll and hoping they can grow a championship team again with the help of maybe one or two “big names” (ie, spend mula).
While they will have to cut salary elsewhere to sign him, it sounds to me like Hosmer and the Royals both want a reunion. Unless some mystery teams steps up and offers the 8 years he is asking for, that makes it almost inevitable he will be returning to KC.
So is Kansas city not partaking in the collusion? Or are they just bad at it?
good one, chester!
Hosmer is apparently counting on KC always being in the mix. That seems to be a fair assumption right now, but you do wonder what happens if they think they need to get certainty–Hosmer isn’t worth the Boras ask, and even Boras knows that. As for Moose, I wouldn’t be terribly comfortable right now. My old team is tepid on me, and no one new is beating down the doors.
Wow, I just had a comment disappear where I stated an opinion that the MLBPA has been negligent in their representation of players..
From an outsiders perspective, KC has a decent wave of talent in the lower levels but the upper level seems thin.
They should sign LoMo, Moose, Jay, and a mid level starter like Liriano or Garcia. This would keep them watchable but most likely not postseason worthy. Then in July they have a few extra pieces in addition to Duffy/Herrera/Merrifield to sell off.
It is the AL Central after all, they could finish in 2nd place with that lineup.
Exactly, of all teams they are the ones who should use this FA market to try and get an instant short term contender.
Orioles and Nats*
This slow moving FA would be a great time for the orioles to strike on some guys. We could add Moose to play 3rd because I’m not all that sold on Beckham at the corner. Add 3 Andrew cashner Jaime garcia types and sign cargo to play Rf. Realistically you could do all of that for under 40 mil a year and probably have to give out no more than a 3 year commitment to any one of them. That’s all a pipe dream at this point but with the money we have coming off the books next year in Jones, machado,Britton, and Brach it’s not something we couldn’t make room for. We won’t do anything like that but it’s fun to imagine. I kept off getting one of the better starters in FA because that’s just a little too far fetched for us.
Everything you specified is very doable for BAL, but management/ownership is doing nothing on any front at the moment. At this point even a minor league signing seems like a pipe dream for Orioles fans.
This is easier said than done, and can sometimes do more harm than good to a fan base. That 2nd place division/wild card contention spot is a dangerous spot to be in for a small market club with an average system. If the team plays well and has a reasonable shot at making the playoffs, the fanbase expects management to make a move to go for it…that requires trading prospects, which is then counterproductive to the goal of restocking the system (especially for a team like KC that is reliant on developing a core through its farm). The White Sox did this year after year after year, and it just always seemed like they were 1-2 pieces away from making the playoffs. “Band Aids” don’t work for an average to below average core.
Conversely, the fanbase also gets upset if management doesn’t do anything in season to try and make the playoffs. Whereas if they’re kind of in it and pieces get traded, the fanbase feels alienated because the team waived the white flag.
Conversely, let’s say that team of guys on 1 or 2 year contracts makes the playoffs, fans will be upset when the front office lets some of those players walk at the end of the year OR trades away some of those pieces for prospects (ex. the Pirates).
From an outsiders prospective it’s easier to sell a rebuild (like KC had in the late 00’s/early 10’s) to a fan base and point to the results it produced last time (back to back world series appearances and a title), than to try to get fans to buy into a half-assed effort to compete.
I will not feel bad for Hosmer or Martinez, no matter what they sign for. Clearly their actual values are lower than they and Boras perceive. No one is going to swoop in and suddenly meet their unrealistic demands at this point. No injury will make an owner whip out the checkbook and pay that difference.
I don’t want to hear “collusion” anymore until we start hearing all the offers all the FAs have received.
Hosmer holding out for an 8th year is ludicrous. Especially when he has TWO 7 year offers.
It feels funny being on the side of the owners on this, but give me a break. Cobb turned down 3/42?!? Yikes!
Meh, players can ask for whatever they want. It’s like when you look for a job, you ask for a certain salary. Just because you ask for it, doesn’t mean you’ll get it. Sometimes you do though. I’ve played two companies against each other before to make more money. Same thing is being done here just with more zeroes at the end.
10 days till camp opens and these guys are still holding out. Time to suck it up, take your millions and play ball. You gambled and the owners called your bluff.
Boras is having a tough time this year so far, but he usually wins in the end.
I assume he will outsmart Moore and secure the best available deal, probably with the Royals. It does sound like he is returning to the Royals. Too bad the Padres stupidly had interest, or the Royals could have got a “bargain.”
Moose is another story. He was loved in KC, but from Moore’s comments, he must have made it clear he was not very interested in coming back. Good thing, because he really is not worth a big contract for the Royals. He probably will wind up with a one year deal for a contender, and might have a good year.
Not one Boras client has signed so far this winter. He’s gambling big time by not taking KCs offer to Hosmer. SD would disintegrate his market if they withdrew the offer and signed Logan Morrison. If I was Preller that’s what I would do since Boras is doing nothing but jerking him around.
This is a “slow offseason” compared to other offseasons, but offers are being made, they are just being turned down, for holding out for a more lucrative offer that isn’t going to happen imo
I believe the largest contract given was 80 mil for Cain! So maybe it’s the owners low balling the FA’s this year so that the “juggernaut” 2019 FA class doesn’t assume or get 400 or 500 mil contracts like some have predicted.
Todd fraizer will make moose look like a rip-off. Besides the home runs he wasn’t even that good in 2017 and that was during a career year In his walk year. I would try to sign Moose to a one year deal if I was a gm for a contender but that’s it. He isn’t worth big money
Mets just signed Frazier. Evidently $17 million over 2.
I can’t see why any team would offer more to Moose.
Moose has Draft-Pick Compensation attached to him. That’s a LOT to give up for a 1-year deal.
3-year Deal seems like the minimum
For the two teams who offered Hosmer those 7 year contracts (big mistake imo, two years too many) they need to make a deadline to accept the deal or not
What I’ve been saying for months now
You have been saying that for a while. And I concur. If 7 years, $147M isn’t enough – move on.
If teams offered more ultimatums then they wouldn’t be handcuffed waiting on players.
Royals should just sign Morrison to a 3/33 type deal and move on…..leaving the Greedy Mr Hosmer begging for the Padres to sign him (or stay home for the summer)
Time to “push back” on the contract prices.
Id take moose on the cards for 2/25. Maybe see if he can play some first base part of the time when not playing 3rd
Also Frazier 2/17 seems very good, not sure why the cards weren’t in on him
I made that comment on twitter and got REEMED by a zillion Cards Fans…..LOL
They all think that Gyorko is better than Frazier, and most of their arguments were about Frazier’s .213 average (they ignored the 27 HR’s in 474 AB’s….when they clearly need More Power in that lineup)
Royals are overvaluing Hosmer and undervaluing Moose. Not sure why Dayton Moore has to telegraph his every move and give Boras the upper hand. I wish they would just sign LoMo or move Cuthbert/Dozier to first. It really doesn’t matter because we’re going to stink for at least 3 years anyway. Our farm system is decrepit so I don’t know where these other posters above are getting that its not that bad.
Moose will end up in pinstripes somehow. It’s the only real fit out there. Cashman will make it work.
Cobb turned down 3 yrs 42 million. I know to them it’s change and it’s all “market value crap” but if someone said here’s “42 million dollars” to play 3 seasons for a winning team…42 million dollars which will probably never get spent, not to mention be a free agent again at 33 to make millions more, I don’t think as a human being I would turn down 42 million dollars. I know they’re “different” but when you really really open your mind and think about it, it’s getting stupid. He’s not worth what he’s asking.
Especially when you consider he’s never done anything! No rings, no Cy Youngs, no no-hitters, never won more than 12 games in a season, etc. Cobb would slot in as a #3 or #4 on most staffs. I know this is only vaguely relevant given the fact his 2018 team is yet to be determined, but baseball-reference.com projects Cobb to go 9-9 with 4.20 ERA and 1.296 WHIP in 2018. I’d say the Cubs offer is arguably an overpay which Cobb should have jumped on immediately.
Moose’s end of season injury isn’t helping either. He should have crushed Balboni’s record, instead he barely broke it. GM’s have to be worried about that.