San Diego Padres: In 2026, Which “R” Will Friars Be Feeling?


The San Diego Padres just invested a ton of money into 28-year-old Eric Hosmer. Let’s take a look into the future and see how they could feel about it by the time his contract runs out in 2026.

The San Diego Padres just committed eight years and $144 million dollars to a 28-year-old first-baseman by the name of Eric Hosmer. Heard of him? The Friars’ newest addition figures to play heavily into affecting the trajectory this franchise takes over the next decade.

Eric Hosmer could be exactly what the San Diego Padres need to take this team to the next level. He offers leadership, the ability to get on-base at high clips, and a face-and-image the fanbase can get behind. Whether the Padres win a World Series or not while he’s here is secondary to the big picture.

Things could all go south though, in theory. If Hosmer is a bust, and so are half of the Friars’ highly-touted prospects and this team finds itself in the same position they are right now in five years, it would mean that the gamble this franchise took on signing Eric Hosmer was a complete and total failure.

Which “R” will the San Diego Padres be feeling once 2026 rolls around? Relief, or regret?

Kill Bill, Vols. 1 & 2, are on Netflix this month. For those of you who are familiar with the films, at one point in the second movie, Michael Madsen’s character, Budd, asks Daryl Hannah’s character, Elle Driver, a peculiar question.

After learning of the death of her arch-nemesis, The Bride, at the hands of Budd he asks her which “R” word she’s feeling, now that The Bride is gone. He means, does she feel relief that she’s gone, or regret, that she didn’t get to dispatch The Bride herself.

How she answers is inconsequential to the San Diego Padres, although I do suggest giving these flicks a chance if you’ve never seen them (only if you are above the age of 17 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, of course. Pretty gory stuff).

So…which one will the San Diego Padres be feeling??

Will the Eric Hosmer signing result in the Friars feeling relief, or regret? Well, that all depends on what transpires over the next half-dozen years for the San Diego Padres. That also depends on what the relief or regret may be about.

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For instance, if Eric Hosmer leaves the Padres at the end of 2026 with three World Series rings and an MVP award, obviously the franchise will feel relief.

They’d be relieved that, in a world where terrible front office decisions are made all the time, A.J. Preller actually pushed the right button and the Friars earned their first shiny new hardware because of it.

Another scenario that could bring some relief would be if signing Hosmer turns out to be a mistake and the Friars are just happy to have that albatross off of their necks.

But, in all likelihood, Hosmer would be traded by the time 2026 arrives if the Friars haven’t turned things around yet. Actually, his contract leaves that door open way more than a crack with his decrease in yearly salary towards the end of his deal ($20 million per for years 1-5, $13 million per for years 6-8).

Ok, so what’s the downside for the San Diego Padres?

The only regretful situation that could come about after the deal has run its course would be if Hosmer is a bust and the Padres can’t tear themselves away from the hope that he would snap out of it, only for the trade market for a thirty-something Eric Hosmer to dry-up.

Even if the San Diego Padres go from middle-of-the-pack to cream-of-the-crop but fail to secure a World Series championship, the Hosmer signing would be considered a success. Even if the Friars only make the playoffs once or twice, the Hosmer signing would still be considered a success.

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How would that still be a success, you ask? Because bringing in a franchise-altering player like Eric Hosmer and giving your young prospects the privilege of learning how to be major-leaguers from a consummate professional like Hosmer is going to change the culture of this franchise into a winning one. Hopefully, by the time Hosmer is gone, they’ll have turned it into a championship one.