San Diego Padres: Three first baseman to target in 2020 MLB Draft

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(Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer
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With Eric Hosmer facing three player options in his final three seasons, it would be smart for the San Diego Padres to have a backup plan.

Signed to a lucrative eight-year, $144 million contract after the 2017 season, Eric Hosmer was entering uncharted territory with the San Diego Padres for the first time in career. Coming off a career year, Kansas City was the only team that Hosmer had known since they took him with the third overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft.

His first two seasons with the Friars couldn’t have been more disappointing. He accounted for a combined 1.2 WAR, which was the lowest since his rookie and sophomore campaigns. Hosmer grounded into an alarmingly high number of groundballs, and while his stats last year – 22 home runs and 99 RBI – look impressive on paper, he leaves a lot to be desired defensively.

He’s technically under contract through the 2025 season, but his final three years consist of three player options, each at $13 million per year. It’s a substantial decrease from the $20 million he’ll be making per year until then. However, at age 33, it’s unlikely that another team is going to give him more, so I wouldn’t expect him to opt-out.

That said, if he continues at this pace, don’t be surprised if the Padres work out a bad contract for bad contract trade with another team. But it also presents the predicament that they have next to nothing in the farm system at first base. Wil Myers is capable of playing the position and did so prior to Hosmer’s arrival.

But he’s been the subject of trade rumors as well and is only under contract through the 2022 season with a club option in 2023. The Padres are almost guaranteed to decline that and could be left searching for answers. That said, first base is a position that general manager AJ Preller should focus on in June’s draft.