Obviously, every Royals fan would love to have Eric Hosmer back (including this one). However, there are other reasons besides fan appreciation that make the rumored seven-year, $147 million offer to Hosmer a good one for the Royals. Hosmer has played his entire Major League career (seven seasons) with the Royals and has come off arguably his best seasons yet.
Hosmer as a player and person
Hosmer helped take the Royals to back–to–back AL Pennants, including a World Series Championship in 2015. He has shown great leadership during his time at the Royals and would be able to help the Royals’ rebuild. He can take younger players under his wing and coach them, while also helping the Royals offensively and defensively on the bag and on the plate. As I have said before, Hosmer is not only a great bat, but also a clubhouse player, and when you can combine those two it makes a player indispensable.
Drawing other Royals players
Royals’ catcher, Salvador Perez, signed a new five-year, $52 million contract with the Royals at the beginning of the 2016 season that will keep him a part of the Royals until 2021. If Hosmer were to sign this new contract with the Royals, that would allow him to be a Royal through 2025, four years after Perez’s contract is up. It may be enticing in the long run for the Royals to have Hosmer in order to keep other core members, like Perez with the team. Not to mention, current free agent and Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has yet to sign with any other team. If the Royals were to retain Hosmer, it could give them the opportunity to get Moose back. If that were to happen the Royals can still be competitive with a line-up consisting of Moose, Hosmer, Perez, Whit Merrifield, and Alex Gordon, while also rebuilding the franchise.
The Royals can earn back their investment
This contact would be the largest contract in Royals Franchise history, by far. The Royals can not only make back the extra $7 million they have offered Hosmer over the Padres but also make back a chunk of the other $140 million. Ticket sales in Kansas City would be far better with Hosmer than without and keep the team competitive (something small market teams really need in order to have expanded payroll).
The Royals also currently have one of the worst media deals in the history of sports with Fox Sports’ regional channel, FSKC, that runs through the 2019 season. The Royals current deal pays out about $20 million per year, much less than the average. A new deal would hopefully be between $50 million to $70 million. If the Royals were to have their hometown hero back on the team that could help to negotiate an even larger contract with Fox Sports Kansas City. Especially now with Disney’s acquisition of all of Fox Sports regional channels, including FSKC. FSKC could be rebranding as ESPN KC. This could also bring in a streaming element to Royals games in the local area where cable subscribers have declined.
Where will Hosmer go? Here’s hoping back to Kansas City.