Hosmer didn't dress on Thursday
Royals fans were alarmed on Thursday night when first round pick Eric Hosmer, who made his professional debut on Monday, was absent from the Idaho Falls Chukars lineup. There was speculation that Hosmer’s absence was related to the recent contract impasse between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Scott Boras, who represents both Pirates’ first round draft pick Pedro Alvarez and Hosmer.
Royals Corner sources have confirmed that Hosmer did not dress for Thursday night’s game, and that it was indeed directly related to the situation with Alvarez and the Pirates. All parties involved are reportedly tight-lipped about the situation, and we still do not know whether Hosmer’s exclusion from the lineup came at the request of Boras, minor league baseball, or Hosmer himself, but we understand that he isn’t likely to suit up again until baseball resolves the impasse. At issue is the question of whether or not a contract signed after the midnight August 15 deadline is valid, even if, as in the case of both Hosmer’s and Alvarez’s negotiations, an extension was granted by the commissioner’s office.
Boras made news earlier this week when he announced that Alvarez would not sign with the Pirates unless his contract was renegotiated. Alvarez had reportedly agreed to a $6 million signing bonus on the night of the deadline, but he has yet to report. Boras is arguing that the commissioner’s office illegally and unilaterally extended the signing deadline, in violation of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly made news in Kansas City earlier this week when he issued a press release arguing that the invalidation of Alvarez’s contract could have ramifications for the Royals’ agreement with Hosmer.
“The Pirates are confident that the contract reached with Pedro Alvarez was agreed to and submitted to Major League Baseball in a timely fashion and properly accepted by Major League Baseball,” read the statement.
“In fact, the contract between the Kansas City Royals and Eric Hosmer, another Boras client, was submitted to the Office of the Commissioner after our contract with Pedro was submitted. Mr. Boras is apparently satisfied with the $6 million bonus that he secured for Mr. Hosmer and has not challenged the validity of that contract. Mr. Boras has been informed that if he pursues a claim that our contract with Pedro was not timely he puts Eric Hosmer's contract with Kansas City in jeopardy.”
In an article on MLB.com, Royals GM Dayton Moore on Wednesday responded to the speculation that Hosmer’s deal could be in jeopardy.
"I'm not familiar with Pittsburgh's situation," Moore said. "I did read the press release, and our team and our player was in that press release but I'm not concerned about it.
"You've just got to have an agreement by the deadline. We had an agreement by the deadline and the terms were submitted in a timely manner so I'm not uncomfortable with the situation."
Clearly, the situation has changed in the last 24 hours, and it’s anyone’s guess how this will turn out. Stay tuned to Royals Corner for updates.