If you have been following the Padres’ off-season closely, you know they have been rumored to be in the mix to sign Eric Hosmer to a long-term deal. Even more surprising, they have reached out to the Marlins to inquire about Christian Yelich. These are two players who are highly desired by several teams across the league.
If the Padres were able to make each of these moves, it would signify a change in direction for the organization. Most experts would agree that 2018 is bound to be another rebuilding year. However, if these two moves are made, Preller and the rest of the front office may be aiming to make a run at an NL Wild Card spot sooner than expected.
While an NL Wild Card spot is likely out of reach, even with the addition of Hosmer and Yelich, it is still worth spending time assessing these moves and how they affect the Padres moving forward.
Potentially signing Eric Hosmer to a long-term deal has garnered the largest amount of controversy. There are plenty of folks out there who are sipping the “Hosmer Kool-Aid”. There are an equal amount of people who argue he is asking for too much and is not worth the $150 million plus he may require. There have been recent reports of a possible six-year/$120 million offer, but these reports cannot be confirmed.
Signing Hosmer would certainly provide a decent left-handed bat in the lineup, however it would also force Myers to move to left field. That would make it the third position change for Myers in his short tenure as a Friar, who was once considered to be the face of the franchise. This may send the wrong message to future free agents who wish to sign with the Padres. However, this effect should not be overblown. The organization utilizing Myers’ versatility should not be viewed in an unfavorable light.
It is easy to understand why the Padres would be so keen on signing a player like Hosmer. He is charismatic and fresh off a World Baseball Classic championship in which he provided a major spark to the team. His age does concern me a little. While he is only 28, if the rebuild process in San Diego is delayed for any reason (injuries), his contract will likely be wasted on years where the Padres do not compete. Padres fans must not forget the four-year deal the Padres struck with James Shields for $75 million. Many thought he would bring stability to the top of the rotation while also providing leadership. We all know how that turned out.
Christian Yelich, on the other hand, is a much more intriguing option. His contract is extremely team friendly ($44.5 million guaranteed through 2021), and his resume boasts a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award already at age 26. Unfortunately, the Padres are going to have to offer a large haul in order to acquire Yelich.
Many have speculated a number of players that would entice the Marlins enough to deal Yelich. Names like Hunter Renfroe, Anderson Espinoza, Luis Urias, and Jorge Ona have surfaced. Others believe even more coveted Padres prospects will be required to make this deal happen. Regardless, the Padres’ farm system will take a significant hit if this deal were to take place. However, many fans are much more on board with Yelich than they are with Hosmer.
The mere fact that the Padres are showing interest in these two highly coveted players indicates Preller’s eagerness to put a winning product on the field. Buyers beware should be in the back of his mind, however. We are only two years removed from 2015 in which the organization took a step away from the rebuilding process to acquire big names like James Shields, Matt Kemp, Craig Kimbrel, and Justin Upton. One prospect dealt during that time was Trea Turner. Padres fans would love to have him back in San Diego.
It should be noted that acquiring Hosmer and Yelich would make much more sense for the future of the franchise than the moves made back in 2015. These moves seem to be more calculated and team friendly when contracts and money are taken into consideration. Whether they happen or not is up to Preller and his staff. Regardless of how the next few years transpire, it is refreshing to hear the Padres in the rumor mill on a consistent basis. It is evident Preller wants to win as soon as possible.