KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The conversation dominating sports-talk radio and fans is the reported contract offer the Kansas City Royals sent to All-Star first baseman Eric Hosmer.
“I woke up, and I checked my phone, and I saw the seven years for $147 million was being floated around. I had to do a double take," said Ben Heisler, executive producer for The Drive on 610 Sports Radio. "I mean, I couldn't believe that the Royals were throwing around this type of money because nothing in their history says they would offer that type of sizable contract to a player."
Heisler said fans of the show were just as surprised at the size of the offer but not at who the team offered it to.
“You're looking at somebody that is 28 years old and entering the prime of his career," he said. "Mike Moustakas is a little bit older. Lorenzo Cain is certainly several years older. They believe that Eric Hosmer is in the best situation, with that contract, to be able to project on a better level long term for this team."
It’s a team that lifelong Royals fan Steve Conwell said would thrive with Hosmer as it’s undisputed leader on and off the field.
“He's one of the best we've ever had to be quite honest with you," Conwell said. "He`s starting to get into his prime. With the Gold Gloves, he's got four. Hosmer is definitely the key to be in contention."
But not all fans are on board with the Royals projected plan.
“I would probably prefer Cain," said Randy Cassmeyer, a KC sports fan. "I think his just because he is an up-the-middle guy, a center-fielder and his bat."
However, Cassmeyer feels spending big money on free agents, even as popular as Hosmer, is a huge gamble.
“Being a small to mid-market, with the current television contract that they have, I think they are hamstrung at least currently," he said. "If some of these higher priced, a little bit older, free agents move on, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing at this point."
Although there are no guarantees in MLB free agency, Heisler said -- whether Hoz stays or goes -- that both he and the team did everything they could to help each other and the city.
“This guy has done everything you've asked of him in Kansas City, and now he has a chance to earn a lot of money," he said. "And if that amount of money comes from one of the major markets, I think they'll understand, but at least they'll feel good to know that the Royals made a real competitive offer here."
Hosmer helped the Royals to two World Series, including winning the championship in 2015 after the Royals defeated the New York Mets in five games.