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Royals Rumblings - News for February 7, 2018

Does anyone want a Moose?

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for February 7, 2018

Rustin Dodd takes a look at how the payroll looks for 2018.

One week before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the Royals are expected to spend more than $110 million in payroll in 2018, a reduction of more than $30 million from last season, according to a Star analysis of the projected 25-man roster.

The number — which is certain to change in the seven weeks before opening day — represents a significant trimming after club-record payrolls during the last three seasons, including expenditures of more than $130 million in 2016 and $140 million in 2017. Yet the club’s current financial picture leaves little wiggle room as the front office continues to pursue free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Dayton Moore is prepared to go with current options at third base.

“Based on the picture that we have right now, we’re prepared to go with Cheslor Cuthbert,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said on Tuesday. “Hunter Dozier is a possibility at third base. That’s the main competition there.

“Cheslor is not the caliber player that Mike is at this particular time. But we feel like it’s important to give him an opportunity to prove himself.”

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at the market for Mike Moustakas.

Where does this leave a team like the Royals? Sadly, with a looming rebuild and the desire for some fiscal austerity, they will – and probably should – remain on the sidelines. It will be frustrating to watch as clubs swoop for bargains in the coming days (and probably weeks) but the smart move for the Royals continues to be for them to move on from their free agents. Hosmer will still clear the $50 million threshold for the Royals to net a draft pick between the first and second rounds. It makes sense for the Royals to move on from him. While Moustakas felt like a lock to do the same back in November, in February, that’s seeming less likely. That means bringing back the third baseman would represent less of a setback to a rebuilding process. The contract wouldn’t be as long and the draft pick was going to be lower anyway.

Drew Osborne at Royals Farm Report writes about Latin American ballplayers before they get signed.

MLB and the player’s union trade barbs on the lack of free agent signings.

David Schoenfield has a way-too-early look at the All-Star team, including two Royals.

The Mets are one of the only interesting teams this off-season.

Is this slow off-season a blip or a trend?

The Minnesota Twins have a window, but need some pitching.

The Giants will retire Barry Bonds’ number this year.

Are franchise players a thing of the past?

Josh McDaniels was, then wasn’t the head coach of the Colts.

The Lakers get fined for having Magic Johnson talk about Giannis Antetokounpo.

One of the last malls in the area, Independence Center is set for foreclosure.

The Big Bang may have been one of many.

Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff will write and produce a new series of Star Wars films.

Your song of the day is Young the Giant with Cough Syrup.