The Royals are engaged in long-term contract talks with first baseman Eric Hosmer, according to Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal. Hosmer reportedly wants a deal by Opening Day or else he will test free agency at the end of the season. Hosmer is coming off a season in which he earned his first All-Star appearance, hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 HR 104 RBI. He was named All-Star Game MVP last year, and has also won three Gold Gloves in his career.
Hosmer seemed to express a desire to stay with the Royals, mentioning his loyalty to Dayton Moore. However he also stated how important the right of free agency is to a player. Even if he did reach free agency without a deal, he would consider staying in Kansas City.
“It’s not cutting this place out completely. It’s earning the right to see what else is out there, seeing my options, seeing what would be the best possible situation for me.”
Rosenthal reports the Royals anticipate Hosmer to ask for a ten-year deal, adding that the Red Sox, Phillies, and Mets could all be looking for a first baseman next winter. Hosmer is represented by Scott Boras, who has previously floated the idea of Hosmer being worthy of a $200 million contract.
“We all know that Hos is a franchise player, a world champion. He’s done all this at a very young age,” Boras said. “And I don’t know how many people have told me that if a guy hits 25 home runs in Kansas City, he’s going to hit 35 somewhere else.
Despite what Boras thinks, Hosmer has put up numbers that would make such a deal unlikely. His numbers are closer to that of Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, who signed a six-year, $79 million deal before reaching free agency.
Rosenthal adds that the Royals are not engaged in long-term contract talks with other impending free agents like Mike Moustakas or Lorenzo Cain, and indicates Alcides Escobar is a low priority due to the emergence of Raul Mondesi as a potential replacement.