The Kansas City sports landscape is changing as fans throughout the metro have been forced to say goodbye to some of the city’s biggest athletic heroes.
Former Royals' first baseman Eric Hosmer has reportedly agreed to an eight-year $144 million contract with the San Diego Padres.
Hosmer joins a growing list of star athletes joining the Kansas City sports exodus.
The seven-year corner infielder was the face of the Royals and helped to guide the team to a 2014 World Series appearance and a championship in 2015.
Kansas City sports fans reacted to the news on Monday.
“I was really upset. I really like him," Kansas City resident Andrea Kruse said. "I feel like he’s just an all American baseball player and I feel like he was the heart of Kansas City.”
Royals officials have already presented a plan for the 2018 season, saying their goal is to cut down on spending and prepare young players for greater success down the road.
“It’s going to be a rebuilding year. It’s not going to be a lot of fun like it was the last three to four years,” Kansas City resident Ken Legenza said. “It’s economics and (I) wish he could stay. Million dollar smile, great player but it’s just economics and I understand it’s a business.”
In the end, many say Hosmer left a positive impact on the city and that the fans will miss him.
“I think he worked hard and represented the city well. So, I’m happy for him,” Kansas City resident Les Kahl said.
“I think the Royals will be fine because they always pull through but I know that Kansas City will greatly miss him,” Kruse said.
Fans throughout the metro are also sharing their thoughts about Hosmer’s departure on social media and the emotions are mixed.
Many supported Hosmer’s move, saying he will be missed.
“Best of luck to you,” Marie Niggemann Driscoll said.
“Thank you for the great memories Eric Hosmer! Best of luck to you in the future,” Rodney Bear said.
“We will miss him,” Jana Williams Bush said. “He was a leader in the clubhouse. Best wish's to him in San Diego!”
“He will be missed,” Barbara Richards said.
Others say Hosmer should have stayed and that he was not loyal to the team.
“He’s gonna miss us when he’s gone,” Sondra McGuire said.
“He, straight up, didn’t want to be in Kansas City anymore,” Brian Weiss said.
“Raised Royal. Not Forever Royal. Or Loyal,” Kay Dudley said.
During his time in Kansas City, Hosmer totaled 1,132 hits, 127 homers, 566 RBI and a .284 batting average. Hosmer was also selected to one All-Star Game and was named the game’s MVP. He also won four Gold Gloves at first base and won the 2017 Silver Slugger award for the position.
Other athletes leaving the Kansas City sports scene include former Royals' outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who signed a five-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, Chiefs' quarterback Alex Smith, who has been reportedly traded to the Washington Redskins and former Chiefs' linebacker Derrick Johnson, who was recently made a free agent.
Royals' third baseman Mike Moustakas remains a free agent but team officials are not optimistic about his return.
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