Well, if Jim Duquette is right, that going-away party in the Royals’ season finale was unnecessary.
Duquette, the former Mets general manager, wrote a column predicting which teams the top 25 free agents in baseball would sign with this offseason.
That list includes four players who were with the Royals in 2017: first baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, third baseman Mike Moustakas and pitcher Jason Vargas.
Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas were fêted by fans in the final game of 2017, along with shortstop Alcides Escobar.
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Duquette’s forecast is for Cain to sign with the Giants and Vargas to land a deal with the Orioles.
But Duquette also sees the Royals signing Moustakas and Hosmer. Not one player. Both.
Here is part of what Duquette wrote about Moustakas: “A lack of demand for third basemen hampered Justin Turner’s earning power to some extent last offseason, but Moustakas should command a sizable contract in the $100 million range over five or six years.”
And this is a portion of what Duquette wrote about Hosmer, who is listed as the No. 5 free agent: “Any team looking for a vocal leader with postseason experience, as well as a middle-of-the-order bat, should have interest in Hosmer. Given his age relative to the rest of the class, he'll likely get a longer deal, possibly seven years at $20 million per season.”
Many Royals fans believe the Royals wouldn’t be able to sign their top free agents. However, Dayton Moore told The Star’s Rustin Dodd that he is not making that assumption.
“Everybody assumes that we are just going to just get blown away in free agency, and we don’t have a chance, Moore said. “They may be right, but I think everybody felt that way about Alex Gordon at the time. That fell back to us. You just never really know.”