Eric Hosmer’s retirement is painful reminder Padres are still paying the price

Eric Hosmer's career may have come to an end, but he is still in line to get a lot of money.

San Diego Padres v Detroit Tigers
San Diego Padres v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages
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While the San Diego Padres having an ultra-aggressive general manager like AJ Preller has a lot of benefits, it also carries a lot of risk. While most of the deals that Preller has handed out at the helm of the Padres' front office have been solid, he's had some notable misses, which includes signing Eric Hosmer.

Even back in 2018 when San Diego gave Hosmer his eight-year, $144 million deal, there were many skeptics unsure of that commitment. While he was coming off a career year in 2017, Hosmer's offensive upside was limited by his inconsistent on-base skills and lack of hard contact. Hosmer was a fine player, but generally not the type that ends up getting a heavy nine-figure deal.

Over the next four seasons, that's kind of what happened. Hosmer logged a relatively average .738 OPS and would hit 15-20 homers every full season while providing little defensive value. Nothing was glaringly terrible other than his contract, and after he nixed being included in the Juan Soto trade with his limited no trade clause, the Padres ate the vast majority of the money he was owed when they sent him to the Red Sox in 2022.

Earlier this week, Hosmer announced that he would be retiring from the game of baseball. Most would think that that could mean that the Padres would be off the hook for paying Hosmer any longer, but San Diego will have no such luck.

Even in retirement, Eric Hosmer's contract is still hurting the Padres

Normally, a player's deal follows him around wherever he plays until he isn't under contract anymore. However, when San Diego traded Hosmer to the Red Sox, they agreed to essentially absorb a little over $12 million a year of the money owed to Hosmer to get the deal done. Whether Hosmer is playing or not, that means the Padres will still be paying him eight figures in each of the next two seasons.

Given that the Padres are cash starved in the wake of a rough 2023 season and the death of Peter Seidler, having to pay Hosmer over $12 million for the next two years is a tough pill to swallow, especially when you factor in how little impact he had when he was still with San Diego. That money could have potentially gone to keep one of the big names that left in free agency or allowed the team to sign a guy like Cody Bellinger or Jordan Montgomery.

Instead, the payments that Hosmer is set to receive are a reminder that very often, long-term expensive contracts do not age well ... and sometimes don't work out at all.

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