As Eric Hosmer prepares for his first season in San Diego, the Royals are unlikely to search for his replacement on the free-agent market or seek a reunion with third baseman Mike Moustakas, general manager Dayton Moore said Sunday. The club could search for a cost-friendly alternative at first base — perhaps a veteran on a one-year deal — though they appear unlikely to go after Logan Morrison, a Kansas City native coming off a career season. They also appear reluctant to spend money on Moustakas as they begin a rebuilding process that will likely be defined by leaner payrolls and younger rosters. When asked about Moustakas on Sunday, Moore pivoted to a talking point he has used much this offseason. “Our two main objectives are we have to build our farm system back to the level it was in 2010, 2011,” Moore said. “We also need to get our payroll at a level that gives us more flexibility going forward.” Moustakas, 29, remains available after watching former teammates Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain sign deals with the Padres and Brewers, respectively. The Royals remain interested in looking at Cheslor Cuthbert and Hunter Dozier at third base. They also see both players as options at first base, along with Whit Merrifield and prospects Ryan O’Hearn and Frank Schwindel. In the short term, the plan would appear to foretell a significant step back in the standings. The Royals are officially rebuilding. But club officials see value in focusing on the future. As a result, any long- or medium-term free-agent signing is highly unlikely.
In looking for Hosmer replacement, Royals signal coming rebuild
Kansas City Star | Feb 20