When the Orioles and Kansas City Royals met in the 2014 ALCS, it was the culmination of a pair of lengthy rebuilds that brought small-market teams to the forefront of the game with exciting homegrown cores.
Kansas City reached the pinnacle a year later in winning the World Series, and now a season later are reaching the logical end of it. After the 2017 season, many of their top players — including outfielder Lorenzo Cain, first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas — will be free agents.
That looks a lot like the Orioles’ 2018 free agent class, headlined by third baseman Manny Machado, closer Zach Britton and center fielder Adam Jones.
That makes for a...