The Royals have made Eric Hosmer a seven-year, $147 million offer, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. That would be twice as much as the club record $72 million deal given to Alex Gordon in 2016. Nightengale also reports the San Diego Padres, who Hosmer met with earlier in the off-season, offered a seven-year, $140 million deal.
Dayton Moore has taken a “wait-and-see” approach to free agency for Hosmer, waiting for the market to drop. This has been a slow off-season around baseball, and with expected suitors like the Yankees and Red Sox seemingly not interested, the market has not gotten anywhere near the $200 million number Hosmer’s agent Scott Boras suggested last year.
The Royals are expected to go through a rebuild next year, possibly even if they re-sign Hosmer. They have publicly said they want to reduce payroll down to around $110 million. Current salary obligations have them around $120 million, meaning they would likely have to move the salary of a player like Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, or Jason Hammel. Signing Eric Hosmer would torpedo plans to reduce payroll, but the Royals likely see Hosmer as the kind of player they can make an exception for.
Seven-year contracts are a very risky proposition for any club, but even more so for a small-market club. The Royals are already carrying two bad long-term contracts in Alex Gordon and Ian Kennedy, and we will have to see if Danny Duffy and Salvador Perez can continue to be productive players throughout their deals. If Eric Hosmer shows the kind of inconsistency that plagued him earlier in his career, that could be a major blow to their chances to rebuilding.
However, Hosmer is young enough that the long-term deal would at least cover his prime years, and not his decline years. If he has figured something out to improve his consistency, he could be a cornerstone and face of this franchise. Signing a player to a seven-year deal may not seem to make much sense for a rebuild movement, but perhaps Hosmer can be the bridge from the old core to the next generation of winning Royals players.
In any case, it looks like the market for Hosmer is starting to move and we could have a resolution soon. Will the Royals make the right decision?
Should the Royals offer seven-years, $147 million to Eric Hosmer?
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