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Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Royals aren’t giving up on the 2017 season — or their free agents | FOX Sports

The latest Robothal.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 08:26 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, diamondbacks, royals

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   1. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 16, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5402730)
So, yeah, after all their moves this offseason, they have four players set to be free agents after the 2017 season: Cain, Hosmer, Moustakas, and Alcides Escobar.

Escobar is the easiest one to part with--he's 30 and coming off consecutive garbage seasons and their most highly touted position player prospect is a shortstop (Raul Mondesi Jr). But the other three.....man, it's one where the Fan side of my brain and the Rational side of my brain are fighting each other, because I've really grown to love them and want them to be Royals forever. But there's no way they can afford all three (especially with Hosmer and Moose Tacos being Scott Boras agents). So...I'm preparing myself to say goodbye to some of these guys. Ah well.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 09:08 AM (#5402737)
With all their FA signings this winter, they don't exactly have a lot of room for next year all of a sudden. They have ten players signed for $100 million for 2018 unless Kennedy opts out.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5402783)
But there's no way they can afford all three (especially with Hosmer and Moose Tacos being Scott Boras agents). So...I'm preparing myself to say goodbye to some of these guys. Ah well.

Hosmer was worth between 0 and 1 WAR last year (depending on whether you believe BRef or FG), and his best offensive season was a 122 OPS+. That's not good for a 1B. He's an easy one to me. Bye bye.

Moustakas is the one I'd try to keep. Injuries and inconsu=istency should keep his price down, and he's still on the right side of 30.

Cain is a tough call.
   4. Mike Webber Posted: February 16, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5402950)
How worried are you guys that the minor league system doesn't seem to have any impact players, coupled with the fact that it's been a couple of years since they really produced one? Even giving them credit for Finnegan and Manaea it's been pretty sparse.
   5. Zach Posted: February 16, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5403079)
Very worried.
   6. Zach Posted: February 16, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5403084)
2017 has been coming for a long time.

The changes to the last labor agreement cut off the Royals' best strategy of bidding high late in the draft. They had several very high picks from before the winning started that never amounted to much. They traded away the best prospects they had to get Cueto and Zobrist.

If they don't compete this year, they'll probably have to dismantle the team around the All Star break.

I think Cain and Hosmer are probably gone. Moustakas would be a good guy to target. Escobar won't break the bank, and might be worth keeping around as a backup or second baseman.
   7. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 16, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5403102)
Yeah, they just....stopped producing good players. Bubba Starling, Jorge Bonifacio, Kyle Zimmer, Chris Dwyer, Miguel Almonte, Christian Colon, Aaron Crow, Brett Eibner, Sam Selman, Johnny Giavotella.....just kept on missing, one after another. Makes it tough!
   8. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 16, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5403143)
I have an almost entirely unsupported theory that Hosmer is going to have his career year in 2017 -- it's his age-27 season, it's a contract year, it's the good year in the every-other-year thing he's got going on, and he's a guy who's never hit his ceiling. I guess the nightmare scenario for the Royals is that that happens, the teams is never in real contention but is in pseudo-contention for long enough that they waste rebuilding time, and they then re-sign Hosmer to a contract he'll never live up to.
   9. Mike Webber Posted: February 16, 2017 at 03:28 PM (#5403158)
I have been thinking for a couple of years that if they re-sign Hosmer it's going to turn out like when they signed Sweeney instead of Dye (I think Damon was out of Kansas City unless the money was stupid-record-breaking big). I think you have to walk on Hosmer, and look for a Napoli type guy.

I don't think Escobar could ever be a utility guy in Kansas City - well at least not until he's made the transition in some other town. I also think you don't want to trust Ned to make him a utility guy.

The thing about Moose is his conditioning has been iffy, and now he's older and well paid? Plus Cuthbert is there to fill the hole. Unless there is a decent discount, I'd let Moose walk too.


   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5403169)
Plus Cuthbert is there to fill the hole.

Cuthbert appears to be a lousy fielder. Do you really want him as your 3B long term?
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5403198)
Yea, I'd rather see Dozier long-term at 3B than Cuthbert.
   12. Zach Posted: February 16, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5403228)
The thing about Moose is his conditioning has been iffy, and now he's older and well paid? Plus Cuthbert is there to fill the hole. Unless there is a decent discount, I'd let Moose walk too.


I can see your point, but Moose strikes me as a guy who's willing to remake himself in order to make things work. He might end up having a career with multiple acts.
   13. Shibal Posted: February 16, 2017 at 04:37 PM (#5403270)
Escobar would be no loss, so it's down to Cain, Moustakas, and Hosmer.

I don't really see a whole lot of demand for those guys. Sure, they are nice players. But as Snapper says, Hosmer (and the other two) ain't exactly a dominating force at the plate. Who's going to sign him to a huge contract? Boston might have a hole but they already showed their lack of desire in paying first basemen when they didn't bother with Encarnacion. If you can buy a DH for half the price, it just might make more sense to do that and fill the first base slot with a James Loney/Mitch Moreland type.



   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5403295)
Yea, I could see Hosmer totally misplaying the market, holding out for some $140 million deal that isn't there. And the Royals are sitting there (with no obvious replacement) and make some reasonable offer and he returns.

But it only takes one team to make things crazy. I could also see his hometown Marlins signing him to some ridiculous deal.
   15. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5403303)
#14--Small correction, in that the Royals will have a perfectly reasonable-ish replacement for Hosmer in 2018 just hanging out: Brandon Moss.

So they'll have a *tiny* bit of leverage.
   16. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5403306)
I haven't even thought of that. The 2018 Royals if all the Free Agents go...

C Salvy
1B Brandon Moss
2B Christian Colon or Whit Merrifield I guess?
3B Cheslor Cuthbert
SS Raul Mondesi
LF Alex Gordon
CF Paulo Orlando/Billy Burns
RF Hunter Dozier
DH Jorge Soler


...the biggest drop-off is in CF...but unfortunately, Cain is the guy who (imo) will A) cost the most, and B) decline the fastest. Yikes!
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:17 PM (#5403315)
Isn't Moss pretty terrible defensively at first*?**

*-small sample size
**-so is Hosmer, by the metrics
   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:52 PM (#5403356)
Yeah, they just....stopped producing good players. Bubba Starling, Jorge Bonifacio, Kyle Zimmer, Chris Dwyer, Miguel Almonte, Christian Colon, Aaron Crow, Brett Eibner, Sam Selman, Johnny Giavotella.....just kept on missing, one after another. Makes it tough!

Like the Phillies a few years earlier.

Important Phillies rookies:

1999 - Randy Wolf
2000 - Pat Burrell, Jimmy Rollins, Reggie Taylor
2001 - nobody (Eric Valent, Johnny Estrada, Brandon Duckworth?)
2002 - Brett Myers, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Silva
2003 - Chase Utley, Ryan Madson
2004 - Ryan Howard, Gavin Floyd
2005 - nobody
2006 - Cole Hamels, Michael Bourn, Carlos Ruiz
2007 - Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ
2008 - nobody
2009 - Antonio Bastardo, John Mayberry Jr.
2010 - Vance Worley, Demonic Brown
2011 - nobody

After that we get into the young mediocrities who comprise the 2016-2017 Phillies roster.

   19. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 17, 2017 at 03:15 PM (#5403939)
The Royals just announced that Cheslor Cuthbert will be given the opportunity to win the second base job out of spring training. I approve.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5404002)
The Royals just announced that Cheslor Cuthbert will be given the opportunity to win the second base job out of spring training. I approve.

Since they don't actually have a 2B, that seems like a reasonable decision.
   21. Topher Posted: February 17, 2017 at 04:25 PM (#5404010)
Escobar would be no loss, so it's down to Cain, Moustakas, and Hosmer.

I don't really see a whole lot of demand for those guys. Sure, they are nice players.


I'm not disagreeing with Shibal. But I do find it interesting that there probably is not that much demand for Lorenzo Cain. He's still "just" 30 years old and he's 15 months removed from a 3rd place finish in the MVP voting. (And while maybe he wasn't *your* choice for 3rd place, I don't think anybody sabermetrically inclined would complain about him finishing in 3rd.) I'm not arguing that there should be a huge amount of demand; I just find it interesting that it likely isn't there. I feel confident saying that if the Royals wanted to trade Cain a decade ago, they would have received a lot in return.

However ...
-- He has otherwise had a below average bat
-- He has been somewhat injury prone
-- I think front offices are starting to realize that a player in his 31-age season is approaching "old" for defensive standouts
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5404022)
Cuthbert was atrocious defensively at 3B, I am skeptical he can transition to 2B very well.
   23. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 17, 2017 at 05:11 PM (#5404031)
Oh, I fully expect Cuthbert will be awful at second base. But he's such a better hitter than the competition, I don't mind. (I am generally pretty cool with punting defense at 2B--the difference between a great fielder and a poor one just doesn't seem that big to me. I understand the advanced stats disagree with me. Bah! I say.)
   24. Zach Posted: February 17, 2017 at 05:53 PM (#5404081)
Will Cuthbert stick at 2B? I don't know.

Do the Royals need him to stick on the roster until they figure out what's happening with Moustakas or until Dozier forces the issue? Absolutely.

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