San Diego Padres: Looking back on the Eric Hosmer signing

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

The San Diego Padres signed Eric Hosmer to an eight-year deal in the 2017 offseason. He hasn’t lived up to expectations through the first two years.

Coming off a career-year with the Kansas City Royals, Eric Hosmer signed a lucrative eight-year, $144 million deal with the San Diego Padres after the 2017 season. It was, at the time, a franchise-changing transaction and one that helped to accelerate the team’s rebuild.

The Padres finished with nearly the same record in 2017 and 2019; however, the latter year provided much more hope with the additions of Hosmer, Manny Machado, and the arrival of Fernando Tatis Jr.

That said, Hosmer’s first two years in a Padres uniform have left a lot to be desired, setting career-highs in strikeout rates both years and a career-high groundball rate (60.4 percent) in 2018. He’s technically under contract through the 2025 season, but he can be traded starting next year.

And while that seems like a pipe dream, the Padres may have to wait until Hosmer’s last three years, where he holds $13 million player options each year. It’s a reduced number from his $21 AAV under the first five years of his deal. Even so, the Padres would likely have to swap bad contracts with another team, if they really wanted to move on from Hosmer.

The Padres have next to nothing in terms of a future first base prospect, with none appearing in Fangraphs recent top 53 prospects list. Aderlin Rodriguez posted respectable numbers for Triple-A El Paso in 2019 – .321/.363/.634 line with 19 home runs and 64 RBI – but the 28-year-old has bounced around on several teams and signed with the Nippon Professional Baseball league in the offseason.

Wil Myers was the primary first baseman before Hosmer was signed, logging 154 games at the position in 2017. And everyone else that logged time at the position before Hosmer’s arrival has since been traded or was not re-signed. Before the shutdown, Fangraphs pegged Hosmer with a .262/.320/.425 line to go along with 22 home runs and 90 RBI.

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It appears that the Padres are stuck with Hosmer until at least the 2022 season and could potentially look for a long-term replacement in this year’s draft. Looking back on the 2017 offseason, would you have signed Eric Hosmer to the mega-deal again?