Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said he is open to signing a long-term deal with the team.
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Hosmer Leaving Contract Talks Open
Tuesday, March 1
"It's not like if [general manager] Dayton [Moore] came knocking on my door to talk about [a long-term contract] I would say no. Of course not," Hosmer said, per Flanagan. "But also, having just won a championship, it's not like you go making any demands to Dayton, either."
The Royals have had trouble keeping high-priced free agents over the years, even losing No. 1 starter James Shields following a World Series appearance in 2014. However, Hosmer shot down any notion that he's biding his time before heading to a major market, per Flanagan:
That's just outside perspective. I don't play this game to be in commercials for hair products. I'm playing to try to win championships. Sure you want to give yourself the best opportunity in terms of financially, but at the same time, you want to give yourself the best chance to get to the playoffs.
If this group stays together, the best opportunity is right here.
The group includes third baseman Mike Moustakas, who broke into the majors in 2011 with Hosmer, as well as center fielder Lorenzo Cain, closer Wade Davis and shortstop Alcides Escobar. Each player contributed to the championship run, and each could become a free agent following the 2017 season.
Hosmer seems to hope the entire core stays together so Kansas City can build something special, per Flanagan.
"You create those opportunities by what you do on the field," he said. "You look at what Golden State is [in the NBA]. I don't know if that's necessarily a top market, but you got Steph Curry and his team, and they will make everyone remember them for a long time."
Hosmer, who hit .297 with 18 home runs and 93 RBI in 2015, is a fan favorite and will make $8.25 million in 2016.
The Royals are going to have to open their wallet to keep him, but it would be the right move. They've already shown they can be player-friendly after agreeing to talk with catcher Salvador Perez about an extension and restructuring his contract despite the fact that his deal is one of the biggest bargains in baseball.
If that happens, it would be a change in culture and a feather in the cap of Moore, who has built a winner from nothing during his 10-year tenure.
They may not be the Golden State Warriors, but the Royals have been the best team in baseball over the past two years, and with a young core intact, they have the chance to be great for years to come.