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The Winter Meetings are over, but the Royals rumors continue

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Duffy to Baltimore? Herrera to Texas? Whit to Milwaukee?

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Winter Meetings are over, with the only transaction for the Royals coming in the Rule 5 draft, where they acquired two pitchers. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain remain free agents, although there seems to be more movement on their markets. Let’s talk about a few of the most recent rumors from the conclusion of the Winter Meetings.

The Red Sox are pursuing Eric Hosmer, but the Padres seems serious about landing him

The Padres’ pursuit of Eric Hosmer has puzzled many observers since they are (a) already had a decent young first baseman locked up in Wil Myers; (b) are a small market club that has never given a player anything larger than the $83 million deal they gave to Myers; and (c) lost 91 games last year, their seventh straight losing season as they try to rebuild.

But the thirst is real! The Padres hosted Hosmer for a visit and see him as a “culture-changer.”

Boston has been thought to be the favorites to land Hosmer, since they have a glaring need at first base and the financial wherewithal to make the kind of nine-figure commitment Hosmer and his camp are looking for. We know they have had internal analytics that project Hosmer’s swing would fit well at Fenway Park (although their projection of 40 home runs seems dubious). They are looking for power, but outfielder J.D. Martinez may be a better fit for Boston. Which will they choose?

According to the Boston Herald, the Red Sox are trying to sign both of the top two hitters on the free agent market.

A source at the winter meetings said that the Red Sox are engaged in talks with not only free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez but also free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer.

The intent is not to try to ensure signing one of the two elite hitters, said the source.

The goal is to try to sign both of them.

Man, it must be nice to have a large-market club.

The Blue Jays are apparently not aware of Lorenzo Cain’s injury history

There has been little on the Lorenzo Cain front, even though some feel he may be one of the most valuable players available. I listed the Blue Jays as a potential suitor for Cain, and sure enough they have come calling.

Four years. For a 32-year old outfielder. Who played more than 140 games in a season for the first time in his career this year. On artificial turf. Okay.

Maybe they are such strong believers in the single-payer health care system up in Canada that they think they can keep Cain healthy for four years. If Lorenzo is getting four year offers, he should probably jump on it. The Rangers could still be interested, and some have speculated the Giants and Mets may be interested, but financial constraints may keep the latter two out of the running.

The Royals are asking a lot for Kelvin Herrera

Kelvin Herrera is coming off a pretty disappointing season, but the Royals don’t seem to be motivated sellers.

As I said before, it probably doesn’t make much sense to sell low on Herrera, and the Royals could very well hold onto him through the summer, hoping he can re-establish his dominance and some contender will panic into trading away some top prospects for him. Or he could leave the mound clutching his right elbow in mid-May, and we’ll all yell at Dayton Moore for not trading him when he had the chance. Fingers crossed.

Moose to the Angels is not a done deal

Many have assumed Mike Moustakas would return to his Southern California roots and head west to the Angels, who have already had a great off-season upgrading by re-signing Justin Upton, landing Shohei Ohtani, and acquiring Ian Kinsler.

I dunno, seems like posturing to me. Chase Headley is a clear downgrade from Moustakas, you’d have to give up something of value, and you’d have to work out the financials with the Padres for Headley, who is making $13 million next year, but is no longer a $13 million-quality player. Why not just sign a young free agent in his prime?

Moose to the Angels still makes too much sense to me. But if they do decide to pass, what is his market exactly? I listed his suitors before, and now the Giants are cost-conscious, the Yankees will have to address pitching first, and the Cardinals have already made their lineup-changing move with Marcell Ozuna, and the Braves are not interested. Also, the Manny Machado trade rumors are holding things up in the third base market. Maybe the price on Moose falls, but I would still wager he ends up with the Halos.

Bury Duff an Oriole?

The Baltimore Orioles had the worst starting pitcher ERA in baseball last year, and have already struck out in their attempts to land Mike Fiers and Miles Mikolas. So now Danny Duffy is on their radar.

Baltimore has some interesting prospects, and could have even more if they decide to trade Manny Machado away with one year left before he is eligible for free agency. Duffy has seemed to be publicly pleading with the Royals not to trade him, and a trade could be very unpopular with fans, although perhaps necessary if the club truly does want to rebuild.

Are the Royals and Brewers a match for a trade?

Shaun Newkirk looked at some potential trading partners with the Royals, and suggested the Brew Crew could use a Two-Hit Whit attack at second base. Well perhaps the Brewers read it, because they’re talking with the Royals.

The Royals could help in all three of those departments with Danny Duffy and Jason Hammel available for the rotation, Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera, and Scott Alexander ready to help the pen, and Whit Merrifield available as an upgrade at second. Shaun suggested Merrifield could land the Royals outfielder Corey Ray, or perhaps the Royals would want to bring home toolsy outfielder Monte Harrison from Lee’s Summit.