Kansas City Royals
2016 committed salary: $114.5 million
*— 2016 salary information from Spotrac
The Royals clearly have some thinking to do this offseason. The World Champions have big-name free agents. Three-time All-Star Alex Gordon has already declined his $13.75 million option and is headed for the free agent market, and trade deadline acquisition Johnny Cueto, one of the top pitching free agents on the market, will not be back next season for Kansas City due to his high price tag. The Royals have been persistent in saying they would like to re-sign Zobrist as he brings a balance to the Royals’ free-swinging lineup. In 2015, Zobrist drew 62 walks with the A’s and Royals, putting him one ahead of Royals first basemen Eric Hosmer for the team lead.
While most Kansas City fans would love to see Zobrist back at second base in 2016, the Royals need to figure out what to do with second baseman Omar Infante, who is owed $16 million over the next two years. Zobrist could stay in Kansas City, but as one of the top free agents this offseason, he will definitely test the waters.
What about the Nationals or Giants? No Desmond for Washington, no Aoki for SF, both would be logical.