Cleat Geeks

Royally Yours: Free Agency Preview

The Royals will have some key players hitting free agency this off-season. Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Jason Vargas will be the biggest free agents for the Royals. The team will have the opportunity to make a qualifying offer to the players before they hit the free agency market. It is rare for players to accept the qualifying offer. Therefore, the Royals will need to decide which players are their priority to keep.

Lorenzo Cain has been a valuable player for the Royals since his first season with the team in 2011. Cain spent his first season in the MLB with the Milwaukee Brewers. In December of 2010 he was traded to the Royals with Alcides Escobar, Jeremy Jeffries and Jake Odorizzi for Zach Grenkie and Yuniesky Betancourt. Cain was a key part of the postseason runs in 2014 and 2015. In 2014 he was named the ALCS MVP. He has an overall postseason batting average of .295. Lorenzo Cain has been an important part of the Royals and he could be a player they try to keep this off-season.

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Escobar is another valuable player the Royals acquired in the 2010 Grenkie trade. Escobar was the 2015 ALCS MVP and won the 2015 Gold Glove at shortstop in the American League. He has a career fielding percentage of .976. His most memorable play as a Royal was his inside-the-park home run against the New York Mets in game one of the 2015 World Series. Alcides Escobar has been a valuable player for the Royals but they will likely switch to a shortstop that is stronger on offense.

Eric Hosmer has been one of the best first basemen in baseball throughout his career. He was drafted by the Royals with the third overall pick of the 2008 MLB Draft. He made his debut with the team in May of 2011. He won the Gold Glove at first base for three straight years from 2013-2015. In 2016 he was selected to his first All-Star game and was named the MVP of the game. Eric Hosmer will demand a big contract this off-season and the Royals may try and pay to keep him.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Mike Moustakas also made his debut in 2011 and has been another key player for the Royals. Moustakas was the second overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut in June 2011, one month after Eric Hosmer. Moustakas is a two time All-Star and competed in the 2017 Home Run Derby. Mike Moustakas is another player that will sign a big contract and it may be hard for the Royals to keep him next season.

Photo By: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Vargas had a breakout season in 2017, which will have an impact on his contract this off-season. Vargas joined the Royals in 2014 after spending his first eight professional seasons with four different teams. In 2017, Vargas was tied for the most wins in baseball at 18. Jason Vargas has been a valuable player for the Royals but they will probably move on this off-season.

 

The Royals will have a lot of decisions to make this off-season about their players hitting free agency. They will not be able to keep everyone and certain players will be given priority. Next season the team will look very different and the Royals will rebuild with their younger players.

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