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Weekend Rumblings - News for December 9, 2017

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Where does Hos end up?

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

Weekend Rumblings - News for December 9, 2017

The Padres hosted Eric Hosmer for a visit this week.

The incumbent Royals and Boston Red Sox are seen as two more likely pursuers of Hosmer, and Kansas City seems a bit discouraged now. The Royals made him their top priority, but they are hearing the market has gone beyond their comfort level, at least at the moment.

Padres GM A.J. Preller is said to be a big fan of Hosmer, who is only 28 and would fit into their long-range plan with a long deal. While some sabermetrics don’t favor Hosmer, Preller and others love him as a winner and leader, never mind the fact that he’s won four Gold Gloves.

Grant Brisbee tries to figure out who will overpay for Hosmer.

The ideal fit for Hosmer

This would be the Royals, right? It’s not like they’re going to spend money on anyone else over the next five or six years. Let him be a local hero and grin and bear the financial hit.

Unless they do that with Mike Moustakas or Lorenzo Cain. I do think it’s funny that the Royals can spend $350 million to get Hosmer, Moustakas, Cain, Greg Holland, and Wade Davis and not be any better than they were last year. Yet teams will still spend $350 million to get these players a la carte and expect great things.

It’s ... it’s almost like free agency is a scam.

No, no, that’s not right. I apologize for losing faith in the offseason. It won’t happen again.

Writers at Sports Illustrated think Hosmer could stay.

Jack Dickey: Does it really make sense to pay Eric Hosmer? These are the facts: over the last five seasons, 38 men have accumulated at least 1,500 plate appearances while playing most of their time at first base or DH. Hosmer ranks 17th among them in adjusted OPS+. His defense, touted as exemplary (four Gold Gloves), is considered well below average by advanced metrics. He may look the part of a complete baseball player more than, say, fellow free-agent first baseman Lucas Duda, but for his career Duda has 20 points of slugging on Hosmer with an essentially identical OBP. How much do those singles get you, really, relative to walks? Hosmer also hits too many ground balls—53.4 percent of the balls he has put in play for his career, according to Fangraphs. A return to Kansas City is rational if the smartest teams stay away.​

Peter Gammons thinks Hosmer is a fit for Boston.

This is one person who believes Hosmer could be a very significant signing in Boston. I love to study balance, hips, and hands in batting practice to try to gauge hitters’ inherent natural style, I’ve spent the last five years watching Hosmer, and it appears that he was born to hit in Fenway. The way his hips and hands work, he effortlessly launches the ball to left-centerfield, and when he tries to pull the ball for power, there never seems to be the natural connection and smoothness. I asked a Royals official if his ground ball rate was so high because he avoided flyballs to the wasteland in left-center in Royals Stadium and thus would pull off, dropping his left shoulder and rolling over on the ball. “I think that’s a very strong possibility,” said the official. “Having watched and known him so closely since he signed, if he played 81 games at Fenway, he’d lead the league in hitting. The wall is his natural stroke.”

David Schoenfield of ESPN suggests the Royals trade Danny Duffy to the Cubs for Ian Happ.

If you're the Royals, you like Duffy's arm and production (3.47 ERA over the past four seasons) and the contract is fine at $15 million AAV. But the rebuilding process is beginning and it's likely going to be an ugly few years. By the time the Royals are competitive again, Duffy will probably be in the final year of his contract. I like Happ's bat -- 24 home runs in 364 at-bats as a rookie -- and versatility in the field and you'd get six seasons of team control versus four for Duffy, so he fits into a long-term scenario and would be a guy the Royals can build around. Done.

Columnist Lee Judge is leaving the Kansas City Star.

Royals Farm Report interviews minor league pitcher Zach Lovvorn.

Brooks Pounders lands with Colorado.

The Yankees have a deal for Giancarlo Stanton.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman gets a five-year, $25 million contract extension.

Shohei Otani might not make the Angels a favorite, but he makes them a contender.

Cardinals fans are mad that Stanton blocked a deal to St. Louis.

Who are the prospects the Mariners traded away to get Dee Gordon?

The Rockies sign catcher Chris Iannetta.

The Tigers sign pitcher Mike Fiers to a one-year deal.

Byung-Ho Park may have been mistreated by the Twins front office.

Former Cardinals pitcher Anthony Reyes is fighting the California wildfires.

SB Nation hands out its 2017 Piesman Trophy Award to Heidelberg’s Brock Riggins.

Here are the nine candidates for U.S. Soccer President.

Apple is reportedly buying Shazaam.

Youtube will launch a subscription-based streaming music service.

FX will develop the Welcome to Night Vale podcast into a TV series.

Your song of the day is Sonny Rollins with Asfrantation Woogie.