The not-so-big secret around the Kansas City Royals (or at least, around its fanbase) is that everyone has 2013 circled on the calendar as the moment to contend, but many (anecdotally speaking) think 2012 could be a surprise breakout season at Kauffman.
Naturally, the questions that follow are what it would take to move that expected contention up a year, and they are as follows: 1) Can/Will the Royals actually try to find a veteran starter to add to the staff, 2) how much does the Prince Fielder signing in Detroit prevent a 2012 run, 3) why haven't they signed Alex Gordon yet, and 4) could the club take that window and bust out the frame, screen and shatter the glass everywhere and jam that window open by signing Eric Hosmer to a long-term deal?
Quickly: 1) no, 2) not as much as you think, 3) it's coming, 4) sadly, no.
Buster Olney says in his insider column this morning that it would take 10 years and a $80 million - $90 million deal to get Hosmer locked down (we are talking about a Boras client here), Royals Review asks whether Edwin Jackson could be the long-lost starter the Royals need, and Rany Jazayerli questions how much the Fielder signing affects the Royals' chances both near and long term in today's Royals notes:
- How much would it take to extend Eric Hosmer? - Buster Olney | ESPN (Insider)
"I asked a longtime agent to estimate what it would require for the Kansas City Royals to lock down Eric Hosmer to a 10-year-deal. 'I'd say $80 million to $90 million,' he said. A few current MLB players signed enormous contracts very early in their careers, all with small-market and midmarket teams."
- Should the Royals Go After Edwin Jackson? - Royals Review
"It's hard to know just what exactly the market for Jackson now is. Sheehan threw out Buerhle's contract as a possible comp -- 4 years $58 million -- which is as good as guess as any. The Red Sox are still out there as possible rivals, the most likely big market team that should be interested. According to internet rumors, Jackson has multiple three-year offers before him. Could the patented Dayton Moore extra year be enough to sign Jackson?"
- Rany on the Royals: The Royals And A Prince.
"I’m a little less optimistic about the Royals for this season than I was before, but then in the minds of most people, 2012 wasn’t the year the Royals were supposed to start contending anyway. As soon as next year, when the Tigers have to figure out what to do with Victor Martinez, and Fielder is a year closer to the end of his reign as one of the game’s great sluggers, the impact of this contract on the Royals’ playoff hopes may be insignificant. It will certainly be far less significant than the Royals’ own efforts to find an impact starting pitcher or two, whether that be from outside the organization or from the development of someone inside the organization."
- A Graphic Look at the Window to Win: Kansas City Royals - Beyond the Box Score
"Sixth in the series, we look at the Kansas City Royals. Ranked 6th overall by John Sickels, they have 1 A-rated prospect in OF Wil Meyers, and a whopping 12 B-rated prospects. Looking at last years list from Sickels, it must be exciting to see two A-rated prospects in Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas producing early. Hosmer looked pretty dialed in last season, even outperforming Moustakas (Hosmer: wRC+ 114, Moustakas: wRC+ 85), but while two of their best prospects graduated from their systems, they remain pretty well stocked. With their young studs, is their window open right now?"
- Kansas City Royals Complete Organizational Chart - MLB Daily Dish
Leadership, Rosters, Salaries, Prospects, Arbitration details, and Options for the entire Royals org.