KANSAS CITY -- The Royals on Monday extended qualifying offers of $17.4 million each to first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Lorenzo Cain.Each player has 10 days to accept or decline the offer, during which time they can negotiate with other teams.• The new qualifying
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals on Monday extended qualifying offers of $17.4 million each to first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Lorenzo Cain.
Each player has 10 days to accept or decline the offer, during which time they can negotiate with other teams.
• The new qualifying offer rules, explained
Under the new rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Royals, based on their revenue and market size, will be awarded a pick between the first round and Competitive Balance Round A of the 2018 MLB Draft for each of the three that sign with another team for at least $50 million. For each of the three that signs for less than $50 million, the compensation pick would come after Competitive Balance Round B, which follows the second round.
The Royals are expected to cut payroll in 2018, which according to general manager Dayton Moore exceeded $150 million in '17.
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Regardless, the Royals are expected to make a strong push for Hosmer, even if they elect to engage in a moderate rebuild for 2018. Hosmer is highly regarded in the organization for his leadership skills and his commitment to the organization and the community, qualities that measure high with Moore.
Hosmer, 28, is coming off arguably his best season, with a career-best .318/.385/.498 slash line to go with 25 homers and 94 RBIs, and he is also up for his fourth Gold Glove Award. The veteran first baseman is one of the true staples in the clubhouse, having been present for the entire Royals rebuild and serving as a mentor to many of the club's young players. He was drafted with the No. 3 overall pick by Kansas City in 2008.
Moustakas, 29, was taken with the No. 2 overall pick the year prior and is a two-time All-Star, including 2017, which proved to be a major bounceback season after the third baseman tore his ACL early in '16. Moustakas batted 272/.314/.521 with a career-high and franchise-record 38 homers, tied for fifth-most in the American League.
Cain, 31, hit .300/.363/.440 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs and is widely considered one of the best center fielders in baseball.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015.