Most of the speculation surrounding the Royals’ trio of free agents is that they’ll make the most effort to re-sign Alex Gordon, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that team officials are “more optimistic about keeping Ben Zobrist” than Gordon or Johnny Cueto.
It makes some sense given that Zobrist is 35 years old and figures to be seeking a two- or three-year deal, whereas the 32-year-old Gordon may be able to cash in with a huge long-term contract.
Zobrist could potentially replace Gordon in left field or the Royals could stick with him at second base while keeping Omar Infante benched. He hit .284 with seven homers and an .816 OPS in 59 games for the Royals after they acquired him from the A’s at midseason and Zobrist has a career .786 OPS along with tons of defensive versatility.
Either way, no one seems to think Kansas City will make any real effort to bring back Cueto.