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Royals back talking to Moustakas about possible return

Jon Heyman



Jul 1, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) cheers after hitting a home run in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are back talking to Mike Moustakas about a potential return, and while nothing’s been agreed to as of yet, there seems to be some hope, sources familiar with the talks say.

The Royals have always liked Moustakas, and while they made him a second priority behind longtime Royals teammate Eric Hosmer and have expressed pessimism at times in recent weeks about getting anything done, the team at least was back in contact with their longtime third baseman, giving them hope for a possible reunion.

There may be another team or two in the mix, and that shouldn’t be a surprise as teams are coming out of the woodwork for the star free agents remaining — though some of them are likely looking for a deal.

It’s no wonder Moustakas’ own Royals team has always been fond of him. The two-time All-Star set the franchise record by hitting 38 home runs last year, but he is one of several stars who have had a rough go of it on the market to this point.

One other advantage the Royals have: They wouldn’t have to give up a draft choice to sign him since he was their player. Any other team would have to give one up.

Moustakas had an early conversation with the Angels, but they quickly moved to sign shortstop Zack Cozart to play third. Perhaps his best chance was with the Yankees, who very much liked Moustakas, but that possibility presumably ended when they acquired the very inexpensive Brandon Drury, who they also like. Today on FanRag we wrote about those earlier possibilities.

Moustakas was talking about a short-term deal with the Yankees. If he were to sign a short one with the Royals, they would be ineligible to extend him another qualifying offer a second straight time.

The Royals have been active with late signings after Hosmer went to the Padres. Just in the last couple days, they signed Lucas Duda to replace Hosmer, and Jon Jay to replace Lorenzo Cain, who went back to his original team, the Brewers. They have youngster Cheslor Cuthbert who could play third.

But they still have their eye on Moustakas.

Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for FanRag Sports, featuring breaking news, information and his Inside Baseball column, which appears on FanRagSports.com every Thursday. Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009 and is a regular contributor to WFAN in New York, where he appears weekly on the Joe and Evan Show and previously appeared on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show. He also appears on WSCR in Chicago, WBZ-FM in Boston and the Petros and Money Show on Fox in Los Angeles. Heyman comes to FanRag Sports from CBSSports.com, where he worked for five years and wrote the popular Inside Baseball notes column. Before going to CBS, Heyman worked for five years at Sports Illustrated and SI.com, where he was a senior writer and started an Inside Baseball Column. Heyman worked for 16 years at Newsday in New York, where he was the Yankees beat writer, a baseball columnist and finally a general sports columnist. Heyman started his career at the Moline (Ill.) Daily Dispatch, then moved to the Los Angeles Copley Newspapers (Torrance Daily Breeze and Santa Monica Outlook) before going to Newsday. Heyman at one time also served as a national baseball writer for The Sporting News. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, N.M. native grew up in Cedarhurst, N.Y., on Long Island.