This is just the latest development during an offseason that has featured virtually endless rumors connecting Hosmer to the Padres, though there obviously has been no resolution to the situation yet. Hosmer, 28, is considered by many to be the top free agent on the market this offseason, though he has his fair share of detractors — particularly those heavy into analytics, who bemoan his -29.0 UZR, which ranks worst among big-league first basemen since he entered the majors in 2011, and his lack of consistency at the plate on a year-to-year basis. While Hosmer has a solid .284/.342/.439 career slash line, he has had a below-average OPS+ in two of his seven big-league seasons and had a mediocre 102 OPS+ in 2016.
If San Diego were to sign Hosmer, incumbent first baseman Wil Myers would have to shift back to a corner outfield spot, which would reduce playing time for Jose Pirela, who led the Padres with a 122 OPS+ in 2017, or Hunter Renfroe, who was widely considered to be the most intriguing player among the bunch of prospects the Padres called up in late 2016 and actually hit more home runs than Hosmer (26, compared to Hosmer’s 25) in 2017. Hosmer’s addition would certainly also increase the Padres’ urgency to complete their rebuild — one that many currently believe won’t be finished until 2020 or later.
With roughly six weeks to go until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, Hosmer doesn’t have a ton of teams that are obviously in the mix for his services. Beyond the Padres and the Royals, the Cardinals are the only other team that has been mentioned as a fit for him in recent weeks.