Dan's Dugout: Free Agency Will Decimate Royals • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Free Agency Will Decimate Royals

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Eight Men Out.

Sounds like a book and movie about the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.

But the same three words have a modern meaning too: especially in Kansas City.

Just two years removed from their second straight World Series appearance, the Royals are reeling.

They are likely to lose eight players, all of whom are eligible for free agency (gee thanks, Marvin Miller).

Mike Moustakas will be a popular free agent

Mike Moustakas will be a popular free agent

As the smallest of the small-market teams, budget constraints will prohibit the Royals from keeping the likes of Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and five other stalwarts from the glory years.

And there’s nothing comparable in the Kansas City farm system.

Teams had five days to negotiate with their own players but that ends Monday. After that, it’s open season for all 30 teams to start raiding each other’s players.

The Royals will be hit the hardest, thanks to their large contingent of expensive agents (they’re anything but free!).

Moustakas, who just broke Steve Balboni’s club record of 36 home runs, will be in for the largest payday.

He plays third base, where many teams have open voids, and does a decent job on defense too.

 David Ortiz left a gaping hole in the Red Sox order

David Ortiz left a gaping hole in the Red Sox order

The Boston Red Sox, who have money, still need to fill the lineup hole created by the retirement of Big Papi Ortiz. Plus they have a hitter-friendly ballpark that could make Moustakas a contender for the American League’s home run and RBI crowns.

Also in need of a booming bat, the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets might persuade the erstwhile KC slugger to cross league lines.

Even the Atlanta Braves, another power-hungry club anxious to move up in the standings, might persuade the stingy Liberty Media group to loosen their pursestrings.

As for Hosmer, he would fit with any team that needs a first baseman. The Mets again head the list, hotly followed by the Tampa Bay Rays (who can’t afford him) and the Seattle Mariners.

Cain, the smooth-fielding centerfielder, offers speed, defense, and a solid bat – assets that will attract numerous offers. The Mets have an obvious need there too.

With general managers meeting in Florida this week, look for lots of talk and probably some signings and trades too.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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