The Padres continue to be active this offseason and have “traction” in their pursuit of free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan.
There doesn’t seem to be as much of a market for the 28-year-old Hosmer as was initially projected heading into the offseason, and the Padres have been the club most frequently linked to him. USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reported Monday that the Red Sox are now more interested in trading for an impactful hitter than signing Hosmer or J.D. Martinez, and despite the first base opening that could exist in St. Louis, Hosmer hasn’t been connected to the Cardinals very frequently.
Obviously things change at the speed of light during the MLB offseason, but right now it looks like the Padres and Hosmer’s former club, the Royals, may be his top two suitors. With that said, he’s a Scott Boras client, so it’s highly possible that his free agency could drag out into 2018 as the crafty agent attempts to get the best possible deal for his client.
On the surface, Hosmer doesn’t seem to be a great fit in San Diego, as they are in the midst of a multi-year rebuild and have virtually no chance of competing in 2018, and they already have an established veteran first baseman in Wil Myers. In spacious Petco Park, Hosmer may struggle to hit for above-average power even more than he did in Kauffman Stadium.
With that said, he’s relatively young, has played in two World Series, is a renowned leader, and would be a solid middle-of-the-lineup presence on a team that doesn’t really even have a hitter aside from Myers that has proven to be very good in recent years. If the Padres believe that they can return to contention by the time Hosmer is 29 or 30, then perhaps it’s worth paying him for a season or two during which they’ll still be rebuilding.