Sep 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals first basemanEric Hosmer
(35) is tagged out at home plate by Oakland Athletics catcherGeovany Soto
(17) to end the first inning of the 2014 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
4) Sign Geovany Soto; 1 year/$4 million dollar contract
The three major components of my plan have been realized but we are far from finished! We are quickly running out of cap room if sticking to that $50-$60 million range but there are still a few minor moves to be made. Christian Vasquez ought to see the bulk of the catching duty next year, but with his offensive limitations another catcher should be added. Soto would be a good bench bat to acquire, and can hold down the
offensive duties of the catching position until Swihart arrives.
He may be due a little bit more money than we gave to David Ross, but ultimately with his off field issues with the law, his injury history, and his inconsistencies on the field, he shouldn’t require a substantial financial commitment.
Backup Plan: Sign Gerald Laird
Aug 8, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcherBrett Hayes
(12) congratulates Kansas City Royals relief pitcherLuke Hochevar
(44) after the game against the Boston Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
5) Sign Luke Hochevar 3 year/$12 million contract, AAV of 4 mil.
We have now spent $51.5 million in free agency (Tyson Ross’s arbitration cost next year is tricky to predict) which perhaps the team will decide is simply too much. But the roster is now complete, and looks like a World Series roster to me. Hochevar is the final piece of the puzzle for me (as I wrote before here on Free Agent Friday); I see him becoming the team’s closer by the end of this year and into the next two. He is an immensely talented righty who was dominant in Kansas City’s bullpen last year.
But he missed this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and will thus be available at reduced cost. Kansas City doesn’t have an especially pressing need for him either with a strong bullpen in place, and needs to fill elsewhere. He can start in low-leverage situations and build up, and will make for a very interesting player in next year’s bullpen.
Backup Plan: Sign an established closer