KANSAS CITY -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore would not confirm a USA Today report Wednesday that the Royals had offered free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer a seven-year, $147 million deal.Moore also told MLB.com that he would not have any further comment on possible negotiations with Hosmer. According to the
KANSAS CITY -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore would not confirm a USA Today report Wednesday that the Royals had offered free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer a seven-year, $147 million deal.
Moore also told MLB.com that he would not have any further comment on possible negotiations with Hosmer. According to the USA Today report, the Padres have also offered Hosmer a seven-year, $140 million deal. And according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, the Cardinals remain in pursuit of Hosmer as well.
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But Moore has indicated all offseason that the Royals have strong interest in re-signing Hosmer, 28, even as they go through an upcoming rebuild. The Royals' theory is that Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez would be excellent mentors for the youth movement, and would still be under contract when the Royals become playoff contenders again in 2020 or '21.
Perez, 27, is signed through 2021.
If Hosmer agrees to the reported offer, it would be the richest contract in Royals history, more than doubling Alex Gordon's $72 million deal signed in early 2016.
Interestingly, Moore said at the Winter Meetings last month that the Royals' payroll, now at roughly $115 million to $120 million, could not go any higher, and that any deal for someone like Hosmer would require payroll shaving elsewhere.
A Hosmer deal likely would be backloaded, meaning the first year might be in the $15-17 million range before escalating in subsequent years.
The Royals also are hoping that a new local TV deal -- they presently get about $15 million a year from Fox Sports Kansas City, which recently was purchased by Disney -- after 2019 could create an influx of money, possibly in the $20-40 million range.
Still, for now the Royals and Moore would be looking to trade players such as right-handers Joakim Soria and Jason Hammel (owed a combined $21 million) to make room for a deal with Hosmer. Left-hander Danny Duffy, who signed a five-year extension last year and is on the books for $14 million in 2018, drew plenty of attention from rival clubs during the Winter Meetings.
Hosmer, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner, is coming off a career year in which he slashed .318/.385/.498 with 25 home runs while playing in all 162 games.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.