The Kansas City Royals’ busy offseason continues with the Hunter Dozer extension.
The Royals are banking on their competitive window opening perhaps before most pundits initially thought. Kansas City, recently one of the bottom-feeders in the AL Central, has made some intriguing moves this offseason including the acquisition of Andrew Benintendi from the Boston Red Sox in a fairly lopsided trade in their favor. Multi-year deals handed to Mike Minor and Carlos Santana hints that the Royals are ready to win now.
Dozier, 29, must’ve been convinced by the Royals moves, as he signed a four-year contract on Sunday.
As FanSided’s Robert Murray attests, the contract buys out Dozier’s arbitration years, making it a win-win for both sides. The max value of said contract is upwards to $49 million, per additional details provided by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The AL Central is suddenly one of the most competitive divisions in baseball
Gone are the days of the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins battling it out for a playoff spot, while the other three teams serve as standings-boosters late in the season. While the Twins and Indians should be competitive in 2021, the Chicago White Sox have deemed themselves division, and American League favorites, if you ask Tim Anderson. The Royals are building a contender thanks to Dayton Moore, and the Tigers brought in World Series-winning manager A.J. Hinch to boost their young core in the near future.
Still, there is no clear favorite among those five, making the Royals decision-making process all the more curious. Perhaps they see their opportunity.
Dozier is coming off a disappointing 2020, but that’s not all that uncommon given the shortened 60-game campaign. In 2019, he had a .279/.348/.522 slash line with 26 homers, 10 triples, 29 doubles, and 84 RBIs. That’s the production the Royals will be expecting moving forward.