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MLB Roundup: Royals shaping future with present moves

Eric Hosmer is heading into the final year of his contract. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Danny Duffy agreed to a contract extension with the Kansas City Royals, which resolves the future of another of their many, many arbitration-eligible players -- and it's a good deal for both sides. A year ago, Duffy was penciled into the bullpen, and now he's guaranteed $65 million; and the Royals have a core pitcher locked up to a budget-friendly deal at a time when they need that sort of thing.

The year the Royals drafted Eric Hosmer (2008), part of the internal debate over the player was about whether it was wise for Kansas City to pick a potential star represented by agent Scott Boras, who almost always takes his clients into free agency. General manager Dayton Moore cut through that talk, telling his staff that the Royals would take Hosmer and that they would enjoy watching him play with Kansas City. And this has turned out be true. Hosmer helped the Royals get back to the World Series for the first time in 29 years in 2014, and again in 2015, when he scored the game-tying run against the New York Mets in the final game of the 2015 championship.

But what Moore and his staff probably didn't anticipate at the time Hosmer was drafted is how he would be part of such an enormous group of players who would all near free agency at the same time -- a situation that provides the context for the 2017 Royals. Yes, Kansas City will try to win again and get to the postseason again, but along the way Moore has to navigate his way through extraordinary, big-picture roster choices that will shape the team for 2018 and beyond.