Eight Royals officially became free agents today in the first day of the Major League off-season. Melky Cabrera, Trevor Cahill, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Peter Moylan, and Jason Vargas all become “Article XXB” free agents for players with six years of service time. The Royals have an exclusive five-day negotiating window with these players before full free agency begins on Tuesday, November 7.
Mike Minor could join them on the list of free agents very soon. Minor has a $10 million mutual option that he will likely decline to seek a longer-term deal. The deal has a $1.25 million buyout. Contract options typically have to be decided by November 4, although there may be a later date written into the contract.
Around baseball, 149 players became free agents today. They used to have to file paperwork to become free agents, but now the right is conferred upon them automatically if they are eligible. Today’s players are so lazy!
Hosmer, Moustakas, and Cain are expected to be among the most coveted free agents in a class that includes Diamondbacks slugger J.D. Martinez, Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, and former Royals closers Wade Davis and Greg Holland. The Royals will reportedly focus on bringing back Eric Hosmer, who should have a number of suitors. The team is expected to make Qualifying Offers to Hosmer, Moustakas, and Cain, which would entitle them to draft pick compensation should they leave. Teams have until November 6 to tender an offer, and players have until November 16 to decide whether or not to accept.