ORLANDO, Fla. — Royals GM Dayton Moore and his contingent are planning to meet Tuesday with Scott Boras, the agent for Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, the longtime Royals stars who are the team’s top two free-agent targets, in hopes of keeping two home-grown stars.
This meeting will go a long way toward determining how the Royals proceed this winter.
The Royals seem most interested in retaining Hosmer, and if they can somehow keep Hosmer, they will try for Moustakas, too. They believe if they can keep Hosmer they can remain competitive, but if they believe their chances are nil, they are still considering the possibility of rebuilding, too — though that remains a secondary option.
Royals people don’t necessarily seem very confident, and while Hosmer and Moustakas are believed to love Kansas City, that shouldn’t be surprising considering the team’s financial limitations. (Though K.C. also didn’t seem confident they’d be able to retain Alex Gordon two winters ago, and they did so by outbidding both Chicago teams.)
Hosmer is likely to win the biggest free-agent contract this winter (Shohei Otani would have, if he were a true free agent), and while Kansas City is willing to stretch for Hosmer, they have never had a $100 million player.
The Royals seem to see the Red Sox as one potential threat to sign Hosmer, who won the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove in this his walk year. Boston is also looking at J.D. Martinez and is interested in upgrading its offense. Hosmer could be a good match with the Green Monster, and his reported girlfriend, Kacie McDonnell, is a sportscaster at NESN.
The Royals, like others, see the Angels as a potential threat for Moustakas, who is from the Los Angeles area. Kansas City is believed to see Justin Turner, who got $64 million over four years from the Dodgers last year winter, as a possible comp for Moustakas.
The Royals seem to understand that free-agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain will get more money elsewhere and have all but conceded in that case. The Rangers, Mariners, Dodgers and Giants are viewed as among the potential suitors for Cain. They also have free agents Jason Vargas and Alcides Escobar.
The Royals have never paid more than $72 million for a free agent, which is what they spent on Gordon two winters ago, and are unlikely to win a bidding war.
But that doesn’t mean they are giving up hope.