San Diego Padres: 4 worst moves by A.J. Preller since 2014
4. Signing first baseman Eric Hosmer to the then-largest contract in franchise history
The intention behind this signing was understood. That doesn't change the fact that this move didn't work out as anticipated.
Hosmer, coming off a career season with the Kansas City Royals in 2017, signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with the San Diego Padres prior to the 2018 season. A.J. Preller wanted to make a splash to indicate that his team was once again ready to emerge from the depths of rebuild. But the numbers Hosmer put up didn't align with the contract's valuation.
Adding insult to injury, Hosmer only ended up spending four-and-a-half seasons with the Padres, as he was traded to the Boston Red Sox at last year's trade deadline, leaving Preller and his team on the hook for the remainder of the contract.
Trading a player with substantial years and money still owed to him is effectively admitting defeat. Sometimes, it's simply the right call to do so.