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Royals Rumblings - News for February 21, 2017

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MLB: Kansas City Royals-Media Day
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At BP KC, our former overlord Craig Brown wades into the extension waters, closing with:

The second item of note from the Rosenthal article is the Royals aren’t discussion an extension with either Moustakas or Cain. That’s interesting. The vibe around Cain is the Royals are lukewarm on an extension probably based on his age and injury history with his legs. That’s understandable.

More surprising is the apparent lack of movement on Moustakas. He’s the one of the two (the second being Hosmer) who makes sense to extend, if he can prove his reconstructed knee is healthy. Perhaps they are approaching Hosmer first to take the temperature and, failing to reach a quick consensus, will move on to Moustakas.

There just doesn’t seem to be a scenario where it makes sense to extend Hosmer over Moustakas. We can go in to details later, but of the four, it’s the Royals third baseman, who, if healthy, makes the most sense to receive and extension.

Jeffrey Flanagan reports on Eric Hosmer weighing the pros and cons of testing free agency:

Hosmer said he certainly wouldn't be opposed to staying with the team that drafted and developed him.

"It's the goal of every player to sign long-term," Hosmer said. "And you want to make an impression on the team that drafted you. They are the ones that believed in you when you were 18 years old.

"[To get a long-term deal] means you've done [a lot] for the organization and the community. It says you've been doing your part on the field and off the field as well."

Rustin Dodd follows up on the Hosmer extension talks:

As the 2017 season approaches, the Royals are prepping for a pivotal year, one that could include franchise-defining decisions and a historic offseason next winter. In addition to Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar will be free agents after the season. The Royals will likely have to let some players walk.

Hosmer understands the calculus. On Monday, he echoed his comments from one day earlier. One difference: He pushed back against reports that suggested he was asking for a contract that would approach 10 years in length.

“That’s where you guys get everything mixed up,” Hosmer said, smiling at a collection of reporters. “I never said anything about that. I never said anything about a 10-year deal.”

Flanagan also sat down with Dan Glass on Presidents’ Day, and Glass took the opportunity to emphasize togetherness.

At MLB Trade Rumors, Jeff Todd looks at the Spring Training battles for the Royals, noting about the last spot in the rotation:

Kansas City obviously saw a need to bolster the depth, as the club added Wood late in the offseason after already dealing for Karns early on. The organization also has at least two other conceivable candidates in Mike Minor and Matt Strahm, though indications are that those two lefties will compete instead for bullpen jobs.

Wood says he signed with the Royals in part because he was promised a chance to compete for a rotation job, and he’s probably the favorite after landing a $12MM deal. But if he doesn’t grab the reins in camp — and/or some of the lefty pen options falter — it’s conceivable that the club could place him back in the relief role in which he thrived over the past two seasons.

It certainly seems possible that the other two chief candidates could overtake Wood in the competition. Young, after all, was inked last winter with the premise of working as a starter, and did leap to an 11.1% swinging-strike rate last year despite his unsightly 6.19 ERA (which came due to a reversal in his batted-ball fortunes from the prior two seasons). And Karns likely comes with the most upside, though it may work against him that he’s also an intriguing relief candidate and still has an option remaining.

Jeff Passan wrote about the social media backlash Dexter Fowler underwent when he talked about the strains the immigration executive order has had on his wife’s Iranian family.

Royals fans could be worse off. They could have been stuck watching Marlins catchers frame pitches.

FanGraphs’ Travis Sawchik gives four reasons to be optimistic about Sean Manaea.

At BP, Jarrett Seidler talks about the messy arbitration hearing and subsequent fallout between Yankees president Randy Levine and Dellin Betances.

The recently assassinated Kim Jong-nam was gripped by fear and paranoia.

Explore Graham Greene’s Havana.

Keanu Reeves, Chad Stahelski, and Derek Kolstad kick around what might be in store for a probable John Wick 3.

The song of the day is “Whatever’s Written in Your Heart” by Gerry Rafferty.