One takeaway from fans after the Royals’ trade Monday night was the increased likelihood that first baseman Eric Hosmer would return to Kansas City.
But there are also reasons why the trade doesn’t necessarily mean Royals will sign Hosmer.
By sending Brandon Moss and reliever Ryan Buchter to the Oakland A’s in exchange for right-hander Jesse Hahn and minor-league right-hander Heath Fillmyer, the Royals accomplished one of their biggest off-season goals: cutting payroll.
After last year’s club-record $143 million payroll, the Royals want to see that number at or below $110 million this season. That’s roughly the number the club is at now.
There are a couple more reasons why the Moss trade won’t affect the Royals’ chances for Hosmer.
First, the Royals made an offer to Hosmer weeks ago, well before Moss was dealt. They were going to make the offer whether or not they had Moss.
Second, the Royals also didn’t need to trade Moss because he can play first base. He was on the team last year with Hosmer, and general manager Dayton Moore believes there are plenty of options at first base already in the Royals’ minor-league system.
Two things may be working in the Royals’ favor to re-sign Hosmer, however. Their contract offer is believed to be the largest and spring training is just two weeks away.