MLB Rumour Roundup: Royals offer Hosmer monster deal

The Kansas City Royals have offered first baseman Eric Hosmer a franchise-record seven-year, $147-million contract, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

The free agent, who’s spent his entire career in Kansas City, also has a seven-year, $140-million offer on the table from the San Diego Padres, Nightengale previously reported.

The St. Louis Cardinals could also be in the mix for Hosmer.

The 28-year-old enjoyed the best offensive campaign of his career in 2017, hitting .318/.385/.498 with 25 home runs while posting a career-high 4.1 wins above replacement.

Hosmer developed a reputation as a leader on the Royals during their consecutive World Series appearances in 2014 and ’15. The team captured the title in the latter year, defeating the New York Mets in five games.

Kansas City faces an uncertain competitive future due to the free agency of core players such as Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain.

Pirates ready to make moves?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have several assets said to be available via trade and are making progress in talks, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Cole has reportedly been pursued by the New York Yankees in recent weeks with the AL East club intent on adding another starting pitcher. On Tuesday it was reported that the Chicago Cubs are also interested in the 27-year-old right-hander.

Though he struggled in 2017, Cole is particularly attractive to teams because of his dominant stuff and the fact that he is under team control for two more seasons.

McCutchen is a star outfielder with one year left on his current deal, while Harrison is a versatile infielder who’s been linked to the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays, among other clubs.

Astros planning ahead?

The Houston Astros would like to add catcher who could profile as a long-term fit in the starting role, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Brian McCann played in 97 games during the 2017 regular season and added 17 more in the playoffs for the World Series winners. But he turns 34 in February and will be a free agent following the 2018 campaign.

Maimi Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto is an ideal fit but would require Houston to part with strong prospect capital. Free agent Jonathan Lucroy has also been connected to the the club, Heyman writes.

Alex Avila is another free agent option, but the 30-year-old profiles more as a backup catcher.