It seems easy to say that the Royals will not be the same team we have seen the last couple of seasons in 2018 and it could be back to the "basement Royals" sooner than later.
It all comes down to who the team can bring back from free agency this winter since most of their All-Stars will be free agents at the end of this season.
Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain and Jason Vargas could all be leaving, and as the Royals owner admitted "it will be difficult" to resign" most of those players.
Especially Hosmer, Moustakas, and Cain, but it seems the team at least will make a "big effort" to keep some of these guys.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Kansas City is prepared "to make a serious offer" -presumably nine figures- to resign first basemen Hosmer, who they failed to sign an extension with this spring.
And if you read a little into some of Hosmer comments to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports during Spring Training, it doesn't seem there won't be a hometown discount for the Royals.
"It's hard to make it to free agency. It's a right that every player earns if they make it that far. We are talking about certain extensions, stuff like that. But the way I see it right now, I just want to make it that far. And if I do make it that far without signing anything, I feel like I deserve that right to see what's out on the market. It's not cutting this place out completely. It's earning the right to see what else is out there, seeing my options, seeing what would be the best possible situation for me."
Hosmer, the Royals third overall pick in the 2008 draft, is having a great 2017 arguably the best season in his career as he's batting .317 with 24 home runs, 93 runs driven in and a career-high 3.9 WAR.
He helped the Royals to an AL pennant in 2014 and a World Series championship the following season, and he's won three Gold Gloves.