Lorenzo Cain wants to sign a new long-term deal to stay with the Kansas City Royals. Should they give it to him?
Lorenzo Cain has been terrific for the Kansas City Royals in his six seasons with the organization. According to Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com, the center fielder is looking for a long-term deal with the team. Cain is set to hit free agency after his two-year, $17.5 million deal expires at the end of this season.
Cain has had some issues staying healthy for the Royals over the past couple of seasons. During the 2016 season, Cain missed time with a hand/wrist injury that only allowed him to play in 103 games. Cain was not the only Royal to miss time because of injury: Alex Gordan, Salvador Perez, and Wade Davis all missed time during the season. Even with all of those injuries in mind, the Royals were still in the middle of the AL Wild Card race in September.
More from Call to the Pen
- Philadelphia Phillies, ready for a stretch run, bomb St. Louis Cardinals
- Philadelphia Phillies: The 4 players on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore
- Boston Red Sox fans should be upset over Mookie Betts’ comment
- Analyzing the Boston Red Sox trade for Dave Henderson and Spike Owen
- 2023 MLB postseason likely to have a strange look without Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals
Cain, 30, had a pretty good year when he played last season. In 434 plate appearances, the center fielder hit .287/.339/.408 with nine home runs and 56 RBI. This was a down year when you compare it to Cain’s 2015 season. In 2015, Cain hit .307/.361/.477 with 16 home runs and 72 RBI. He also showed his speed on the base paths, stealing 28 bases in 2015. Cain has been a very important piece in the middle of the Royals lineup over the past couple of seasons.
It is without question whether Cain has earned an extension with the Royals, but the real question is whether they will give it to him. The team has to focus on bringing back other talent. First baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas are both set to hit free agency following the 2017 season. The team will have to get their priorities straight to see who they will sign to a long-term deal.
The Royals finished the 2016 season five and a half games out of the AL Wild Card. They will look to turn that around in 2017. While the first objective will be to win the division and make the playoffs following last season, the team does have to start worrying about locking up some of its talent for the future. The last thing the Royals want to see is Cain playing for another team during the 2018 season.
The Royals have some tough decisions to make over the next six months or so. They need to sign Cain to a long-term deal earlier rather than later, so that he does not become irritated and decide to go elsewhere in free agency. Extending Cain’s contract past 2017 should be the first objective for the team this season.