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Royals Rumblings - News for December 29, 2017

Eric Hosmer is either signing with the Padres or one of 29 other teams.

Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for December 29, 2017

Jeffrey Flanagan takes questions on the Royals in his mailbag, including what the odds are that the Royals retain Eric Hosmer.

Better. Much better. But it's still very iffy. Moore made it clear at the Winter Meetings that Kansas City has to keep payroll in the $115-120 million range or lower (it was about $150 million in 2017). The payroll right now is in the $115 million range. So to sign Hosmer, who could get $15-20 million a season, Moore will have to get creative to make room. But make no mistake: The Royals would love Hosmer to be around to shepherd in the youth movement and rebuild.

Tommy Stokke at FanRag wonders if Eric Hosmer is worth it to the Padres.

The Padres certainly don’t need Hosmer. By most accounts, their future is bright but it’s still years away. If Hosmer’s price falls perfectly into the laps of the Padres because there’s no one left to bid, it’s a move that shouldn’t ruin their long-term plan. Then again, if the price falls to that point, we might see a more desperate team ready to win now make the move.

Colby Wilson at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City questions what the Royals are doing.

I don’t want to say that this is a no-win situation. It’s just that the opportunity for victory is murky. For the Royals to be successful in the near future involves not only a cornerstone player—Hosmer, Moustakas, whomever—not only electing to stay but also continuing to play at a high level, in addition to a host of unknowns stepping to the forefront and playing better than expected. You excited to hitch your wagon to Hunter Dozier and Bubba Starling?

The Royals are linked to international free agent shortstop Wilmin Candelario.

Candelario, 16, stands out more for his glove than his bat. He’s a switch-hitter with a simple swing, but he will have to cut down on his strikeouts, especially for a player who doesn’t project to have much extra-base thump.

Baseball Prospectus ranks the top 50 prospect busts, with Bubba Starling ranking high.

Starling's strikeouts began skyrocketing, his contact cratered, and it started getting harder and harder to just write it off as him being young for the league. The nadir of his career came last season with a combined .534 OPS between AA and AAA. While he's still only 24 and could make his way off this list in time, hitting .250/.296/.373 in the PCL while getting thrown out on half his stolen base attempts doesn't exactly bode well.

Chris Cwik at Yahoo Sports looks at the remaining top free agents.

Did Lorenzo Cain secretly retire this offseason? There’s just not a lot out there about the 31-year-old. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports has mentioned the Blue Jays as a destination at least twice. He also said the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants were interested back in November. The Mets aren’t spending the money, probably. That leaves the Giants, who still could be in the mix. They did just deal Denard Span.

Darin Watson at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City wonders what if the Royals never fired Whitey Herzog.

MLB Trade Rumors looks at when bad teams sign big free agent contracts, including the time the Royals signed Gil Meche.

Danny Duffy also makes their list of biggest contracts for pitchers with a history of Tommy John surgery.

Royals’ 2017 draft pick Evan Steele is giving back to kids at baseball camp.

Twins slugger Miguel Sanó is accused of sexual assault.

The Marlins are listening on trade offers for Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto.

Grant Brisbee thinks the lack of rebuilding teams is holding up the off-season.

ESPN’s Sam Miller tries to find the memory that represents each year of baseball since 1903.

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Why is Omar Vizquel getting so much Hall of Fame support?

The top ten baseball stories of 2017.

Is the divorce between James Harrison and the Steelers tarnishing a legacy?

Sports stopped making sense in 2017.

South Korean may be hinting at a Bitcoin ban.

Food swamps are the new food deserts.

The best Saturday Night Live sketches of 2017.

Your song of the day is Jon Spencer Blues Explosion with Wail.