The KC Royals signed Hunter Dozier to a four-year $25 million contract extension and this shows that Dayton Moore is thinking about succeeding in both the short-term and the long-term.
While spring training was just getting underway in Major League Baseball, the Kansas City Royals wanted to make sure one of their players was taken care of in the long-term, as they inked Hunter Dozier to a $25 million contract extension, keeping him in Kansas City through 2025 (his age 33 season).
This is a good move for so many reasons, but the main one is that it shows that Moore is focusing on both short-term and long-term success. One of the big reasons this deal might have gotten done is because it’s insurance should Adalberto Mondesi bolt when he hits the open market.
If that happens, Bobby Witt Jr. can be the team’s shortstop (which is probably going to happen either way) and Dozier can then stay at third base and even shift to right field once Whit Merrifield’s contract is up.
This move is very unlike the KC Royals, but it’s something they’ve needed to do in years past.
Being a small market team is difficult, but the Royals managed to keep one of their staples in Kansas City for the next half-decade and didn’t have to pay much to do so. Of course, some players will be tougher to keep than others, but the Royals ensured they’ll have a third baseman or right fielder (or even first baseman after Carlos Santana’s deal is up) for the next five years.
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It also helps them because Dozier can play multiple positions and the Royals can utilize him in two different spots depending on how free agency plays out over the next few years.
Dozier had a slow start to his career after being the team’s first-round pick in 2013. He didn’t make his MLB debut until 2016 and until his stellar season in 2019, Royals fans weren’t sure what the future held for Dozier. During that 2019 season, Dozier slashed .279/.348/.522 with 26 home runs and 84 RBI in 586 plate appearances.
While the 2020 season didn’t see Dozier put up big numbers, I’d say take that with a grain of salt. 2020 was a weird year for everyone (not just ballplayers) and Dozier missed the first week or two of the season due to testing positive for COVID-19. He just never really got into a groove during the shortened season.
It’s hard to be angry about the Kansas City Royals extending him. This deal shows that Dayton Moore is committed to keeping this team competitive.