As deadline looms, Royals fans keep close eye on 3 big free agents

Decision day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thursday is decision day for three of our favorite Royals players.

We should know by the afternoon if the Royals three big free agents decide to stay in Kansas City or test the free agent waters.

Last week, the Royals gave out qualifying offers to Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain. A qualifying offer is a one year, $17.4-million contract to stay in KC. They have until 4 p.m. Thursday to accept it.

If they reject it and sign with another team, that team will lose draft picks while the Royals will receive draft picks.

So what are the prospects of any of them staying here? Royals officials want Hosmer back, but he is represented by Scott Boras, considered the most ruthless agent in sports. Word is Boras wants a $200-million contract for Hosmer, but many believe that’s too much and Hosmer will get closer to $120-million for a five or six-year contract. Right now, the Red Sox and Padres have shown interest in signing him.

As for Moustakas, he is also represented by Scott Boras and is being linked to the Los Angeles Angels, which makes sense since he’s from there. The New York Mets and Yankees are also interested in vying for his services.

Lorenzo Cain is actually the most in demand former Royal as the Mets, Blue Jays, Rangers, Mariners and Giants are all want to sign the 31-year-old center fielder. One MLB writer expects Cain to reject the Royals offer and test the free agent waters.

Right now, it appears all three will reject the Royals qualifying offers but even so, the Royals can still try to re-sign them – there is no timetable for that.