FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman writes that the Royals are expected to make a push to re-sign both third baseman Mike Moustakas and first baseman Eric Hosmer. Both infielders are expected to reject their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offers. Heyman speculates that there has been a change in the club’s offseason approach; rather than heading toward a rebuild, as suspected, the Royals seem determined to remain competitive heading into 2018.
Moustakas, 29, is fresh off of his second career All-Star campaign. During his seventh run with the Royals, he slashed .272/.314/.521 with 38 home runs and an .835 OPS in 598 plate appearances. The general consensus is that he’ll net upwards of $100 million in free agency, which could prove tricky for the Royals if they hope to retain Hosmer as well.
While Hosmer likely won’t hit triple digits in free agency, that doesn’t mean he’ll come cheaply. The 28-year-old is still one of the hotter bats on the market after putting up career-best numbers with Kansas City. He batted .318/.385/.498 with 25 home runs and an .882 OPS in 671 PA. Not only that, but he avoided the disabled list for the third straight season and appeared in all 162 games.
Given that the Royals will have their hands full trying to remain competitive for Moustakas and Hosmer’s services, it’s little surprise that they’ve given up on Lorenzo Cain‘s return. Heyman adds that the center fielder is also expected to reject his qualifying offer. Unlike Moustakas and Hosmer, Cain is not viewed as a “cornerstone player” in Kansas City, and is in line to receive offers well beyond those the Royals could comfortably match.
We’re entering what is typically one of the slowest news weeks in the baseball calendar. Occasionally some big free agents sign around now. For example, it was 20 years ago today Andres Galarraga signed with the Braves, and I still remember being in an airport on the way home to visit my parents when I heard the news. I’m an old man.
The biggest news that is likely to happen this offseason is Giancarlo Stanton being traded. That hasn’t happened yet, but here are the latest bits of news on that:
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Cardinals have made a formal trade offer to the Marlins for Stanton. No word what they’re offering, but the clubs have been in discussion for some time and it has been reported that the Marlins are the most interested in doing a deal with St. Louis due to the prospects they could send to Miami. There is a sense, however, that Stanton would be hesitant to approve a trade to the Cardinals because he prefers to play on the West Coast;
The Giants play on the west coast, and over the weekend they were reported to be the “most aggressive team” in trade talks for Stanton at the moment. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants have likewise made an offer. Their farm system is nowhere near as stocked as that of the Cardinals, so it’s unclear whether they have the prospects to make Miami happy. They could, of course, eat a lot of Stanton’s $295 million contract to make up for that, of course, but (a) doing so would put them over the luxury tax; and (b) the Marlins no doubt want to spur a rebuild with a Stanton trade, so if they can’t get some blue chip prospects back in return, what’s the point?
UPDATE: Who knows if this is anywhere close to enough — I’m guessing not — but this is what the Giants reportedly have on the table:
Anyway, that’s where we are as we begin Thanksgiving week.