Kansas City Royals News

Eric Hosmer retires, announces launch of MoonBall Media

Eric Hosmer retires, announces launch of MoonBall Media

Eric Hosmer officially ended his 13-season MLB career on Wednesday and announced the launch of his new media company, MoonBall Media.

Hosmer, who won a World Series title with the Kansas City Royals in 2015, told Forbes his new business venture will include "original unscripted programming, a weekly podcast, social media content and upcoming FAST (free, ad-supported streaming television) channels."

The "Diggin' Deep" podcast will feature Hosmer, former major league reliever Peter Moylan and Justin Su'a, a process and development coach in Bradenton, Fla. It will be produced by former minor league teammate Anthony Seratelli, who also played in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.

"We've always talked about doing something, especially after my (playing days) are over," Hosmer said of partnering with Seratelli. "He's had his feet on the ground for 10-plus years on this side of the business. Now that the playing days are over, I feel like I have so many fun stories that I want to give back, especially these last couple of years of my career when I got to experience the big-time markets, being in Chicago, being in Boston. I think this podcast is something where I can really have enjoyment and dig deep into other people's processes and how that helped them succeed."

Hosmer, 34, was released by the Chicago Cubs in May. That decision allowed Hosmer to take a step back and examine his options.

"I just didn't know if my body was ready for all that, didn't know mentally if I was ready to go back," Hosmer said, per the Kansas City Star. "And if you're not ready at 110 percent to compete in this league, then it's not going to work out. These roster spots are so valuable and I really do understand the value of a roster spot in the big leagues.

"So it's something that I've thought well and long about, had a lot of discussions with (Kacie, his wife) and my family about, and ultimately decided that this is the best route for me to take and I'm still going to be involved in the game and covering the game. So I'm just excited for this new chapter."

An All-Star in 2016 as well as a four-time Gold Glove winner and Silver Slugger Award recipient, Hosmer batted .276 with 198 homers and 893 RBIs in 1,689 career games with the Royals (2011-17), San Diego Padres (2018-22), Boston Red Sox (2022) and Cubs (2023). He was the third overall pick of the 2008 MLB Draft.

Royals acquire RHP John Schreiber from Red Sox

Royals acquire RHP John Schreiber from Red Sox

The Kansas City Royals acquired right-handed reliever John Schreiber from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor league righty David Sandlin on Saturday.

Also, the Royals placed right-hander Kyle Wright on the 60-day injured list.

Schreiber, who turns 30 on March 5, posted a 2-1 record with one save and a 3.86 ERA in 46 games (two starts) last season with Boston. He struck out 53 batters in 46 2/3 innings.

Schreiber owns an 8-6 record with nine saves and a 3.58 ERA in 139 career games (two starts) with the Detroit Tigers (2019-20) and Red Sox (2021-23).

Sandlin, 22, went 4-2 with a 3.41 ERA in 15 games (all starts) split last season with the Class-A Columbia Fireflies and the High-A Quad Cities River Bandits. He had 90 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings.

Wright, who was acquired from the Atlanta Braves for fellow right-hander Jackson Kowar on Nov. 17, is recovering from surgery to repair a torn capsule in his throwing shoulder. He is expected to miss the 2024 season.

Because of injuries in the 2023 season, Wright appeared in just nine games (seven starts), posting a 1-3 record with a 6.97 ERA in 31 innings.

Wright, 28, led the majors in 2022 in wins when he posted a 21-5 record in 30 starts in his first full season. He had a 3.19 ERA and struck out 174 batters in 180 1/3 innings.

In 60 career games (51 starts) since 2018, Wright is 24-16 with a 4.45 ERA in 281 1/3 innings.

Bobby Witt Jr. agrees to $288.8M extension with Royals

Bobby Witt Jr. agrees to $288.8M extension with Royals

The Kansas City Royals agreed to a franchise-record, 11-year, $288.8 million contract extension with Bobby Witt Jr. to keep the infielder as a cornerstone of a roster rebuild.

Witt, 23, finished seventh in American League MVP voting last season when he batted .276 with an .813 OPS for the Royals, with a major league-leading 11 triples to go along with 30 home runs and 96 RBIs.

Witt, Kansas City's first-round draft pick (No. 2 overall) in 2019, had six triples, 20 home runs and 80 RBIs in 2022, when he finished fourth in AL rookie-of-the-year voting.

"I am incredibly grateful to the Sherman family and the Royals front office for believing in me, and I promise to do everything in my power to help bring championship baseball back to Kansas City! Let's go!!" Witt said in a post to X (formerly Twitter), in a reference to John Sherman, who purchased the Royals in 2019.

The Royals have not finished a regular season above .500 since winning the World Series in 2015 and were 56-106 last season, a .346 winning percentage that was tied for the worst in franchise history.

The contract only adds to Witt's role as the budding face of a franchise that hopes to move into a new stadium in the near future, with a downtown site under consideration. A stadium tax of less than half a cent, that also will benefit the Kansas City Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium, is up for a vote this spring.

The 11-year contract for Witt also includes four opt-out seasons starting in 2030 and has an option that would add three more years to the tail end of the deal and take it to $377 million.

The only MLB player to land a bigger guaranteed deal before reaching their first arbitration season was Fernando Tatis Jr., who signed a 14-year, $340 million contract in 2021.

Witt is the son of former major leaguer Bobby Witt, who pitched for 16 seasons. Tatis is the son of former major leaguer Fernando Tatis, who played for 11 seasons.

Royals trade INF/OF Samad Taylor to Mariners for cash

Royals trade INF/OF Samad Taylor to Mariners for cash

The Seattle Mariners acquired infielder/outfielder Samad Taylor from the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday for cash considerations.

Taylor, 25, made his major league debut with the Royals in 2023 and batted .200 with four RBIs and eight stolen bases (in eight attempts) in 31 games.

He played four defensive positions for Kansas City, logging time at second base, third base, left field and center field.

Drafted by Cleveland in the 10th round in 2016, Taylor is a .264 hitter with 56 homers, 287 RBIs and 179 steals in 559 games over seven seasons in the minors.

The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for the Royals to sign infielder Adam Frazier, as previously reported.

Reports: 2B/OF Adam Frazier reaches deal with Royals

Reports: 2B/OF Adam Frazier reaches deal with Royals

The deal reportedly also includes a $2.5 million buyout for Frazier, who could replace Michael Massey as the Royals' primary second baseman.

Frazier, 32, recorded career highs in homers (13) and RBIs (60) to go along with a .240 batting average in 141 games last season with the Baltimore Orioles.

An All-Star in 2021, Frazier is a career .269 hitter with 56 homers and 317 RBIs in 962 career games with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Orioles.

Report: Royals nearing deal with OF Hunter Renfroe

Report: Royals nearing deal with OF Hunter Renfroe

The Kansas City Royals reportedly are finalizing a deal Friday with free agent outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

MLB Network said it is a two-year, $13 million contract plus incentives and includes a player opt-out after 2024.

Renfroe, 31, split the 2023 season with the Los Angeles Angels and Cincinnati Reds and hit .233 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs.

The eight-year veteran is a career .239 hitter with 177 homers and 454 RBIs in 841 games with six teams.

Report: RHPs Seth Lugo, Chris Stratton joining Royals

Report: RHPs Seth Lugo, Chris Stratton joining Royals

Coming off a 106-loss season, the Kansas City Royals bolstered their pitching staff Tuesday, bringing in right-handed starter Seth Lugo on a three-year, $45 million deal and right-handed reliever Chris Stratton on a one-year, $3.5 contract, per MLB.com.

Per the report, Lugo will earn $15 million each of the next two seasons with a $15 million player option for 2026. He can opt out after 2025. Stratton's deal reportedly includes a $4.5 million player option for 2025. Neither deal has been announced by the team.

Lugo, 34, who declined his player option with the San Diego Padres, will slot in near the top of the Royals' rotation. In 2023 as a full-time starter, Lugo went 8-7 with a 3.57 ERA with 140 strikeouts in 146 1/3 innings over 26 starts.

Originally a 34th-round pick of the New York Mets in the 2011 draft, Lugo is 40-31 in 301 games (64 starts) with 16 saves, a 3.50 ERA and 648 strikeouts in 641 innings for the Mets (2016-22) and Padres.

Stratton, 33, was a member of the World Series champion Texas Rangers after being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals. With Texas, Stratton posted a 3.41 ERA with 22 strikeouts and eight walks in 29 innings in the regular season.

The 20th overall pick by the San Francisco Giants in the 2012 draft, Stratton is 37-24 with a 4.43 ERA over 302 games (43 starts) with the Giants (2016-18), Los Angeles Angels (2019), Pittsburgh Pirates (2019-22), Cardinals (2022) and Rangers. In 545 innings, he has 504 strikeouts and 216 walks.

Report: World Series ring collector Will Smith to sign with Royals

Report: World Series ring collector Will Smith to sign with Royals

Veteran left-handed reliever Will Smith is finalizing a one-year, $5 million deal with the Kansas City Royals, according to multiple reports on Sunday.

Smith is the only player in major league history to win three straight World Series rings with three different teams. He earned rings with the Atlanta Braves in 2021, the Houston Astros in 2022 and the Texas Rangers last season.

Smith had 22 saves while going 2-7 with a 4.40 ERA in 60 appearances for Texas last season.

The 2019 All-Star with the San Francisco Giants might have a hard time continuing that streak if he remains with the Royals all season. Kansas City hasn't made the postseason field since winning the 2015 World Series and had the second-worst record (56-106) in the majors last season.

Smith, 34, is 33-41 with a 3.67 ERA and 113 saves in 573 appearances (17 starts) with six teams over 11 big-league seasons.

Smith started his career with the Royals and went 8-10 with a 4.76 ERA while making all 17 of his major league starts among 35 appearances with the franchise.

Smith had 34 saves for the Giants in his All-Star season and a career-best 37 for the Braves two years later.

Report: Royals agree to deal with LHP Will Smith

Report: Royals agree to deal with LHP Will Smith

Left-handed reliever Will Smith is set to return to where it all began by signing a one-year, $5 million deal with the Kansas City Royals, ESPN reported Sunday.

Smith was with the Royals for his first two major league seasons in 2012 and 2013. The 34-year-old won a World Series ring last season with the Texas Rangers when he went 2-7 with a 4.40 ERA and 22 saves in 60 regular-season appearances.

In five postseason appearances in 2023 (3 1/3 innings), Smith had a 10.80 ERA. He made two appearances in the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 13.50 ERA.

In his 11 major league seasons with six different teams, Smith is 33-41 with a 3.67 ERA in 573 appearances (17 starts) and has 113 saves. He was an All-Star in 2019 as a member of the San Francisco Giants.

Smith has won a World Series ring in three consecutive seasons, getting one in 2021 with the Atlanta Braves and another in 2022 with the Houston Astros, although he didn't pitch in that series.