There is "no evidence" of any contract negotiations between the Royals and Eric Hosmer for a long-term deal, according to FanRag reporter Jon Heyman. Hosmer had admitted he had been talking with the Royals on a long-term deal, but said he wanted a deal done by Opening Day or else he would cut off talks and head to free agency at the end of the year. Heyman, who has long been known to be close to agent Scott Boras, who represents Hosmer, reports that all four core Royals players eligible for free agency at year’s end – Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Alcides Escobar – are expected to reach free agency.
Boras did not preclude talks from going any further, saying "the door’s always open", but he continues to compare Hosmer to superstar first basemen like Mark Teixeira and Chris Davis, both of whom received contracts worth well over $150 million. He dismissed articles comparing Hosmer to James Loney or Casey Kotchman, and Heyman reports the Royals even see Brandon Belt as an inferior comparison to Hosmer, despite the fact Belt has superior offensive statistics.
Last year, Hosmer hit a career-high 25 home runs, but hit just .268 with a .328 on-base percentage and .433 slugging percentage.
"I’m not counting this place out. I’m not saying, ‘I’m outta here," says Hosmer. "You just see what the best fit is."
Despite no current negotiations with any of the players, Heyman does write that the Royals feel they can retain "one or two" of their free agents. This week, Lorenzo Cain expressed his desire to stay in Kansas City, and he did ask the Royals about a six-year contract a few years ago. Heyman reports some are surprised he was not moved this past winter, after interest from the Nationals, Rockies, Cardinals, and Dodgers. Heyman speculates that the Angels or Red Sox could be a landing spot for Moustakas, and opines that the Royals will move on from Escobar with Raúl Mondesí waiting in the wings.