Royals’ pending free agents make emotional exit
Kansas City, Mo. — Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar tipped their caps and likely said farewell to Kansas City’s fans during an emotional group exit in the fifth inning of the Royals’ season finale Sunday.
The foursome joined the Royals in 2011 and keyed the team’s run into consecutive World Series, including a championship in 2015. They are all eligible for free agency after the season.
Manager Ned Yost pulled the group together with one out in the fifth of a game against Arizona. The players hugged behind the pitchers’ mound, then waved their caps to the cheering crowd as they walked off the field. Salvador Perez, who also debuted with Kansas City in 2011, embraced the group on the top step of the dugout.
The players also got standing ovations for each of their at-bats. Hosmer homered in the first inning and hugged Moustakas as he crossed the plate.
Before the quartet arrived, Kansas City hadn’t been to the postseason since winning the 1985 World Series. The Royals had the worst record in the majors from 2000-09, losing 100 or more games four times.
“They’ve created a legacy for this organization and a standard to try to move forward and uphold,” Yost said before the game. “They’ve turned this organization into a model of consistency. It’s been a great run. It’s all attributed to them.
“But not only did the fortunes of the Kansas City Royals turn around, but the fan base has been wrapped up in this team for years and years with these kids. It’s really kind of transformed the city a little bit, too, and energized the city in a small part. Their presence here has affected this city in a pretty big way.”