The Royals reached back-to-back World Series in 2014 and '15—winning the title in '15—largely on the strength of a solid core of young players. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar were crucial parts of that core.
With the 2017 season now officially over for the Royals, all four of those guys are now free agents, and it's unlikely that the band will all be together when next season comes around. Hosmer and Moustakas are two of the top free agents available, and the Royals simply aren't willing to spend enough to keep all four guys around.
With that knowledge, Royals manager Ned Yost took the quartet out of the game in the fifth inning of the season finale vs. the Diamondbacks, and the fans at Kauffman Stadium gave them an incredible round of applause.
That's a classy move, and it comes with a secondary benefit. That's the perfect way to make a player feel loved, which could make it just a little bit harder to leave Kansas City.
Then again, when tens of millions of dollars are at stake, perhaps hometown love isn't as influential.