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Royals Rumblings - News for February 14, 2018

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Arizona at Kansas City John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for February 14, 2018

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam Mellinger writes that bringing back Eric Hosmer could hurt the rebuild.

First, Hosmer is a good player, and if you’ve read this space before you probably know I believe baseball’s structure is currently set up in a way that rewards losing. Drop games, pick high, stock the farm system and get ready to go in a few years. That’s particularly true for teams without a lot of money, like the Royals.

The Royals are likely to lose a lot of games with or without Hosmer in 2018. If the Royals win 68 games with him instead of 64 without him, well, that was the difference between picking first and fifth in the 2018 draft.

If Hosmer pushes the Royals from 70 to 75 wins, that’s the difference from sixth and 11th, plus less money to sign and be flexible throughout the draft.

San Diego columnist Kevin Acee gives the Padres’ perspective.

Reports have placed Hosmer’s ask at seven years (or more) with an average annual value of around $20 million. It is also possible he will sign a deal with some team for a shorter duration that allows him to test the market again while still in his prime producing (and thus, earning) years.

While there remains a gap between what the Padres have offered and what Hosmer’s agent, Scott Boras, is requesting, there is a belief the sides are close enough that a deal doesn’t have to wait. There is also a belief Hosmer doesn’t want to be out of camp for an extended period.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at the questions facing the Royals going into spring training, such as who will play in center.

Are the Royals going to win in 2018? Probably not. Let’s see what Bubba has to offer. He’s a very good defensive center fielder and there’s at least some potential somewhere in his bat. These are some selective endpoints, but he hit .288/.335/.443 in his final 59 games of the season. I’m not exactly brimming with confidence that he’ll ever be much of a contributor, but why not find out now? Another option is to go get a guy like Jarrod Dyson who is a legitimately fantastic defender and let him run down fly balls all over the outfield. He’s likely pretty inexpensive at this point, the fans love him and he’s a plus in the clubhouse. That actually might be my favorite option.

The bullpen roles have to be figured out this spring, even the closer’s role, which could be between Kelvin Herrera and Brandon Maurer.

“You look at two guys initially with Kelvin and Brandon,” new pitching coach Cal Eldred said Tuesday. “They’ve both done it before and both have the stuff to be back-of-the-bullpen guys.

”We also have guys who see themselves now in starting positions. Everyone wants to be a starter. ... But it’s our job to put guys in the best possible position to succeed.”

Rustin Dodd also looks at the roles that have to be figured out in the pitching staff.

Jon Heyman writes the Yankees have been in touch with Mike Moustakas, but a signing remains a long-shot.

The Royals hand out minor league awards.

The Royals brought back some retired numbers to display at their facility in Surprise.

Salvador Perez shares some video from his new commercial shoot for Price Chopper.

Staley High School is in Baseball America’s Top 50 preseason ranking.

Teams will watch Tim Lincecum showcase his skills.

Are the Red Sox letting J.D. Martinez slip through their fingers?

The Dodgers bring back Chase Utley.

The Rockies should think about being a “mystery team.”

Padres pitcher Jose Torres is on the restricted list for a domestic assault allegation.

Peter Gammons writes that spring training is all about hope.

Notre Dame football will have to vacate wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

A comprehensive ranking of Winter Olympics sports.

How artificial intelligence is edging its way into our lives.

Vice Media admits it treated its female employees badly.

Should you take an ambulance or an Uber to the hospital?

Your song of the day is The Outfield with Your Love.