After missing out on the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, the Padres are now considered the favorites to land free agent slugger Eric Hosmer, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.
The Padres and Hosmer have reportedly met twice already and could be advancing in contract negotiations. The Red Sox, also in desperate need of a power bat, are said to also still be in the mix,
Hosmer, 28, is coming off a career year in which he batted .318 with 34 home runs, and a career-high .882 OPS. He also earned a Gold Glove while playing in all 162 games last season.
The Padres scored just 604 runs last season, easily the worst mark in the league. The lineup would still need work if they were to add Hosmer, but the duo of Hosmer and Wil Myers would be a solid foundation.
The Padres would have to surrender next year’s third-round draft pick if they were to sign Hosmer, since the free agent declined the Royals’ qualifying offer.