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Royals, Eric Hosmer discussing extension

Kansas City hopes to lock up its franchise first baseman before Opening Day, though the Scott Boras client may test free agency regardless.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are discussing a contract extension with first baseman Eric Hosmer, as reported by FOX’s Ken Rosenthal. Hosmer has set an Opening Day deadline for talks, noting that he doesn’t want discussions to be a distraction during the season.

Hosmer is one of many key Royals who is set to hit free agency this winter, joining Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar. Kansas City already made decisions on three pending free agents, trading Wade Davis (Cubs) and Jarrod Dyson (Mariners) while locking up Danny Duffy on a five-year, $65 million extension.

Hosmer appears to be the club’s priority, as there have been no discussions to this point with either Moustakas or Cain. Though Kansas City will likely give its best effort to lock up Hosmer before the calendar turns to April, it appears the team will have to make a big-time offer to keep him from testing the open market.

Hosmer, 27, will be one of the top commodities in free agency next winter as a relatively young free agent who would fit the Nationals, Red Sox, and potentially Yankees. According to Rosenthal, he is likely to ask for a ten-year deal, though the length of his next deal will ultimately be decided by the teams who pursue him.

Hosmer, who made his first All-Star team last season, owns a career .277/.335/.428 line with 102 homers in six seasons with the Royals. He was the third overall pick in the 2008 draft.