Hosmer open to long-term deal with Royals

First baseman remains committed to winning championships in KC

February 29th, 2016

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Certainly the popular narrative about the Royals this offseason has been that the team has a two-year window for future success, closing after the 2017 season.

That's when several players -- Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis, Alcides Escobar, etc. -- could become free agents.

And the general consensus is that the hardest free agent to keep will be Hosmer, an immense talent whose career continues to ascend. But Hosmer disputes any notion that he would be the first one out the door after '17.

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"It's not like if [general manager] Dayton [Moore] came knocking on my door to talk about [a long-term contract] I would say no. Of course, not," Hosmer told MLB.com. "But also, having just won a championship, it's not like you go making any demands to Dayton, either."

Hosmer also is quick to dismiss the notion that he yearns to take his good looks and talent to a big market such as New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.

"That's just outside perspective," he said. "I don't play this game to be in commercials for hair products. I'm playing to try to win championships. Sure you want to give yourself the best opportunity in terms of financially, but at the same time, you want to give yourself the best chance to get to the playoffs.

"If this group stays together, the best opportunity is right here."

And Moore isn't conceding he won't be able to retain free agents such as Hosmer as well.

"We fully expect to sign as many of our players that we currently have on our team to long-term contracts," Moore said. "We anticipate that happening as we go forward. Will we get them all? Time will tell.

"We've had success keeping our homegrown players. Alex Gordon is a guy we've signed twice now to multiyear deals. We'll do our best to keep as many of our players here."

Hosmer said Kansas City's market size doesn't enter into the equation about where he would like to stay long term.

"You create those opportunities by what you do on the field," Hosmer said. "You look at what Golden State is [in the NBA]. I don't know if that's necessarily a top market, but you got Steph Curry and his team, and they will make everyone remember them for a long time.

"I think we can create that through the way we play. If we make it to another World Series that's three times in a row. We've caught the attention of America and the whole world.

"If you're a true player in this game, your dream is to win and create some history."

While some observers are skeptical that the Royals can keep their core intact, Hosmer isn't among those skeptics.

"Honestly, what is so cool about this organization is that everyone trusts everyone in their role," Hosmer said. "We trust Dayton that he will do the best job he can to keep everyone together. It's out of our control, but we trust Dayton."

Hosmer has seen what it means for someone such as George Brett to play an entire career for one organization, and then still be a part of it when the playing career ends.

"It's everyone's dream to be drafted by one team, play your whole career for that team and have your jersey retired by that team," Hosmer said. "But I'm not going to go out in the media and get myself a [long-term] contract just by talking about it.

"You look at what we've started in Kansas City, it's special. I got drafted by an organization I knew nothing about. It looks like a quick process [the last two years] but the truth is that guys like Salvy [Salvador Perez] and Moose [Moustakas], we've all been together since the low Minors. We feel like we've flipped this organization and that's a credit to Dayton and the front office.

"If it was up to us, we'd like to keep it together as long as we could."

So, if Moore and his staff came calling about a new deal?

"Yeah, you're going to listen," Hosmer said, smiling.