These Eric Hosmer extension talks are a lot like a teenager learning to drive: hesitant acceleration and then very sudden and jarring braking. Also everyone is tense and wants to get out of the car as soon as possible. The most recent news is that the talks have once again stopped. However, there’s still the potential of Kansas City giving full consideration to the contract once this season is over. But that’s not in line with Hosmer’s long term goals.
There are rumors that Hosmer is asking a decade long contract with Kansas City, which is even ridiculous to Hosmer himself. Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports that the first baseman wanted to shush out those rumors as soon as possible. “That’s where you guys get everything mixed up. I never said anything about that,” explained Hosmer. “I never said anything about a 10-year deal.” But half that amount of time? Five years seems to be the sweet spot for Hosmer and his agent Scott Boras.
Sam Melliger of the Kansas City Star spoke to Royals owner David Glass about the stalemate between the two sides. Glass took the opportunity to get in a jab on Boras, saying, “I think Hoz wants to stay here, and I think he’s very loyal to our organization. But at the same time, these guys have agents that want to get the best deal for them. Hoz has Boras, and if Boras doesn’t get a really good deal for Hoz, then it affects his relationship with his other clients.” Glass is readying himself to blame not being able to sign Hosmer on Boras and shift the villain moniker away from himself. Because public disputes are totally how problems are solved and don’t make anything awkward at all.
If the homegrown Royals sets out to sew his wild oats in the free market, he could be in store for a big payday. While his analytics reflect a different portrait of the player, giving him a WAR of just 10.1 in his career and 1.0 last season. That’s on par with a reserve player. And yet, he had 25 homers last season. In six years of playing in Kansas City, Hosmer has slashed an average of .277/.335/.428. These numbers aren’t bad, but when you pin them to the face of a franchise, the feel disappointing. Hoz has three Gold Glove awards but his batting wavers every even numbered year. It all seems mind boggling, especially since Hosmer led the team to a World Series win in 2015.
Hosmer will be 28 in October, so asking for a five year or more deal is not the most irrational request to grace Major League Baseball. This year (also an odd numbered year) will be a litmus test of the all-star’s real ability, especially in high tension situations. Hoz is putting a suicide squeeze on Glass and the Royals. If he doesn’t get a deal by Opening Day, he’s taking to free agency once the 2017 season is done. It looks like the Royals may not be able to afford Hosmer in the long run and will instead pursue retaining some of their lower costing players.