The monster deal that the Cincinnati Reds signed star first baseman Joey Votto to this week had the baseball world buzzing – mostly negatively. The deal goes through his age-39 season and is back loaded so I can understand where the naysayers are coming from. I’m not interested in debating this contract’s place among the albatrosses that Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez earned though. Instead, I want to suggest that the Kansas City Royals take a proactive approach and sign their future megastar Eric Hosmer to a team friendly deal before he gets ideas of becoming the next $200 million man.
Hosmer has been compared to Votto for over a year now. Going back to Baseball America’s 2011 Prospect Handbook to ESPN’s Eric Karabell on last week’s Baseball Today podcast, Hosmer is hailed as the next Votto. That’s fine with me. I kept him as a 25th rounder on my keeper league squad and I would have no qualms about rostering the dude at a criminally low price. Nevermind the price I pay in my dopey fantasy league though. The real price that needs to be discussed is the one that the Kansas City Royals will have to pay to keep Hosmer in the “Show Me State”. I realize Hosmer has not even accumulated a full season of service time, but that hasn’t stopped other teams from shelling out team friendly long-term deals. It’s time for the Royals to hop on that bandwagon. The longer they wait, the higher the price tag climbs.
Another obstacle is Mr. Scott Boras. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Hosmer is represented by arguably the best agent in sports. Boras’ M.O. is to advise his clients against signing any deal that delays free agency. Most clients heed this advice, but Carlos Gonzalez didn’t. Neither did Jered Weaver. Maybe Eric Hosmer is already eyeing membership in the $200 million-plus club. Or maybe he’s willing to consider the CarGo or Weaver route. It’s worth finding out for the Kansas City Royals. One way or another, “The Hoz” is going to cash in. It’s just a matter of how much and how soon.
I don’t talk about the Kansas City Royals much, but when I do, you’ll probably find it on Twitter @craigmwilliams.