The KC Royals will have a lot of key players set to hit the free agent market after the 2017 season. Out of all of those guys, could outfielder Lorenzo Cain be the most logical one to keep in Kansas City?
The Kansas City Royals and their fans might have a rough offseason next year, as some big time players for this organization are going to be free agents once the 2017 season concludes.
The biggest names set to hit the market are Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakas, and while many are aching for Hosmer and Moose to come back the most, Cain might be the one that makes the most sense.
It was reported this past Sunday by Ken Rosenthal that Eric Hosmer and the Royals are discussing a possible contract extension and also that the team hadn’t had those same talks with Cain or Moustakas. That shows that Hosmer is the team’s biggest priority.
While listening to 610 Sports on Tuesday morning, however, Royals insider Josh Vernier made a good point about the free agency situation.
The biggest reason to keep Cain is that there just might not be a replacement set in stone for him in center field. At least at first base, Brandon Moss could fill in for 2018 if Hosmer departs, and third base is plentiful with Cheslor Cuthbert and Hunter Dozier waiting in the wings.
Bubba Starling hasn’t panned out the way the Royals had hoped and that was likely the plan in replacing Cain after this season. Sure, it wouldn’t be crazy to move guys around in the outfield, but if the Royals have a chance to keep any of those guys, Cain could come at the cheapest price.
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He’s been injury prone throughout his career and will turn 31 in April. There might not be a lot of teams out there willing to gamble on an injury prone outfielder in his 30s, which could give the Royals the edge.
Vernier said when calling into the show that if Cain were left unsigned by December of 2017, the KC Royals could easily sign him to a short contract and have him locked up for at least another year or two, and likely for an affordable cost too.
If Rosenthal is right in saying that the Royals anticipate Hosmer getting a ten-year deal, is that something the team should commit to? Cain won’t demand that large of a deal and won’t cost as much money unless he has a 2015-type season.
While it’ll be tough to see some of these fan favorites go, Lorenzo Cain staying a Royal might actually make the most sense, even if some people hadn’t considered that to be an option. There’s no replacement set in stone in the Royals system and that right there makes him a valuable piece moving forward.
What do you think, Royals nation? Which impending free agent makes the most sense to keep in a Royals uniform?