There has been a ton of buzz surrounding free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer and the San Diego Padres. While adding a player of Hosmer’s caliber would be a plus for any MLB team, is he really a fit for the Friars?
By now, we’ve all heard the rumors that the San Diego Padres were a favorite to land free-agent Eric Hosmer. His former team, the Kansas City Royals, are also looking to retain his services.
It’s been suggested that Hosmer is looking for a seven-year contract, and there have also been reports of Hosmer receiving more than one offer of that length.
Adding a player like Eric Hosmer would undoubtedly put any team in a better position. He’s been among the AL leaders in on-base percentage throughout his entire career, has produced at an All-Star level, and led the Royals to a 2015 World Series title.
He’s an absolute stud who’s in the prime of his career. It’s as safe a move as you’ll find in the free-agent market. But at the point the San Diego Padres are in their current rebuilding phase, is signing Eric Hosmer to a long-term, likely very expensive contract the right move? That’s debatable.
Would he add veteran presence? Check. Would Hosmer add offensive potency? Yup. Would he bring a much-needed upgrade to the Padres infield defense? For sure. They why not?
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Why the San Diego Padres should stay away from Eric Hosmer
I understand this may be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think the San Diego Padres would be wise to invest the type of money Eric Hosmer is seeking for a player who will be in his mid-30s by the time his contract expires.
Sure, he would bring a definite level of improvement to this team at the plate and in the field, but at what cost?
The Padres have an immeasurable amount of talent up-and-down their minor league system. Over the next few years, some of these youngsters will develop into decent players. Some will peter out at Double or Triple-A. It’s just how this game is.
But as the Padres start to see these players emerge at the major league level, they’ll have half of their payroll dedicated to a handful of players and the rest will be spread out among the rest of the roster.
So as the San Diego Padres start to see their long-term plans come to fruition and their team starts to form, they’ll have Eric Hosmer, a few other pieces, and a team of rookies. That’s not going to be enough to make the most out of their small window of opportunity to win a World Series.
What other options do the San Diego Padres have?
If the San Diego Padres were to spread out the money they have earmarked for Hosmer over a few solid, affordable players over the next few years, it could have a huge effect on the future of this franchise.
If Carlos Asuaje, Allen Cordoba, Manuel Margot and Co. pan out, and Dinelson Lamet and Luis Perdomo can ascend to ace-status, one Eric Hosmer won’t help this team reach the promised land. As for this year, the Padres front office should fill out their roster with affordable veterans and let their young players gain some experience.
Next offseason, three or four solid, veteran free-agents (at the same price they’d be paying Hosmer, combined) would bring enough leadership and talent to take the Friars to uncharted territory; a World Series championship.