Shohei Ohtani chose the Angels. Giancarlo Stanton appears headed for New York. Is Eric Hosmer the next offseason domino to fall? That question could be answered this week as Major League Baseball convenes for its annual Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. All 30 clubs are set to come together for a week of meetings, dialogue and, of course, offseason business. The future of Hosmer, the Royals’ All-Star first baseman, and his free agent teammates could be a leading story line amidst the maelstrom of chatter and rumors. The deck was cleared, in part, on Saturday when the Miami Marlins reportedly agreed to send Stanton, the National League’s Most Valuable Player and reigning home run leader, to the Yankees in a blockbuster deal with league-wide ramifications. Stanton had previously said no to possible trades to San Francisco and St. Louis as the Marlins attempted to free themselves of the $295 million and 10 years remaining on his contract. Once official, Stanton will join Aaron Judge in the middle of a fearsome New York lineup. The news of the deal first surfaced on Saturday morning, one day after Ohtani, the vaunted two-way Japanese star, stunned the industry by electing to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. For weeks, the sagas of Stanton and Ohtani had dominated an offseason landscape defined by a free-agent market in gridlock. On Sunday, attention will turn to a free-agent class led by Hosmer, outfielder/designated hitter J.D. Martinez and starting pitcher Yu Darvish. The Stanton trade, however, could have a ripple effect on the rest of the offseason — and this week’s meetings, which industry sources believe could be chock full of moves. Will Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski respond to the Yankees’ addition by aggressively pursuing Martinez and Hosmer? Will the Cardinals and Giants, losers in the sweepstakes for Stanton, take that money and hunt for upgrades in the market? The answers could arrive this week. The Royals, for now, remain in pursuit of Hosmer, their top offseason priority. The rest of their offseason, however, could be shaped by an assortment of low-cost, low-risk moves. The club signaled the strategy in the last week, signing pitchers Wily Peralta and Scott Barlow to one-year contracts. The tactic may remain in place whether Hosmer re-signs this winter or not.
Royals discouraged by chances of re-signing Hosmer
Kansas City Star | Dec 10