Lorenzo Cain enters free agency heading into his age-32 season, offering championship-caliber defense, speed and offensive prowess
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Kansas City has been expected to cut payroll in 2018, but the club would like to keep Hosmer, a team leader who's spent his entire career with the Royals and had a career year in 2017. The 28-year-old hit .318/.385/.498 with a career-high-tying 25 home runs and 94 RBIs, winning AL Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards at first base.
Hosmer wins Silver Slugger Hosmer wins his first career AL Silver Slugger awardEric Hosmer is named the 2017 AL Silver Slugger award winner at first base for the first time in his career
It now appears the Royals will make a similar effort to retain Moustakas, another career Royal coming off his best season. Moustakas set the single-season franchise record with 38 homers in 2017, and the 29-year-old third baseman was named the Players Choice AL Comeback Player of the Year.
Moustakas' comeback season Moustakas named AL Comeback Player of the YearMLB.com Royals reporter Jeff Flanagan comments on Mike Moustakas being named the AL Comeback Player of the Year
Cain is also coming off a strong season, hitting .300/.363/.440 with 15 homers and 26 stolen bases while playing a stellar center field -- his 15 Outs Above Average, according to Statcast-, was fifth best of any outfielder. But according to Heyman, the Royals expect the market for the 31-year-old, who is older than Hosmer and Moustakas, to exceed what they'd be willing to give him. Teams like the Rangers, Mariners, Giants and Dodgers could pursue Cain.
Notable Free Agent: Cain Cain's blend of speed, defense up for purchase as FALorenzo Cain enters free agency heading into his age-32 season, offering championship-caliber defense, speed and offensive prowess
The Royals have a large group of free agents this offseason, including shortstop Alcides Escobar, starting pitcher Jason Vargas and reliever Mike Minor.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.