The Eric Hosmer rumors are still swirling in San Diego with less than ten days before players report to spring training. Eric Hosmer has value, but is it time to just move on from him and focus on 2018 and the future of this franchise?
San Diego sports fans are certainly very used to disappointment. It just comes with the territory. Will the Eric Hosmer ordeal end in more heartache for a city that is numb to abuse? Only time will tell, but the clock is ticking.
The infatuation with Eric Hosmer by the Padres has not died down. Apparently, the Padres have made their final offer though. The team, like all of major league baseball, is waiting for the domino to fall in major league free agency. Padre fans were once divided on potentially signing the first baseman, but, as the saga continues, more and more fans are drinking the “Hosmer kool-aid” and demanded the team spend whatever it takes.
Presently, I’d say about 60-70% of the fan base is on board for a Eric Hosmer signing with the San Diego Padres. At this point, the Padres need “faces”, and Hosmer would arguable be the most marketable and known Padre on the entire roster. Eric Hosmer would also probably go down as the face of sports for the city of San Diego. A potential seven-year (plus) relationship is a huge commitment though. At $140 million or more, it could very well be crippling for the Friars.
The man can provide great leadership for this team, but is he worth the hefty price tag? Most publications and evaluators do not have him listed as a top 10 first baseman in the whole league. Being paid like one could end up being a foolish decision for a smaller market team, no matter what he brings to the table in the locker room. We will just have to wait and see what the Padres’ front office decides to do. They are even reportedly split on the idea of Hosmer in a Padres’ uniform.
There are some indications that the team could have very well drawn their proverbial line in the sand. Eric Hosmer has his top offer from the team and they are not about to be bullied into more money or more years of commitment. Reports indicate that the Padres do covet Hosmer, but they are not set on bringing him in. If he signs elsewhere, the team will explore other options now and in the future. A.J. Preller is very capable of making adjustments and there are whispers they are already doing so in preparation for a Hosmer signing in K.C. or St. Louis or wherever.
Here are some other factors to this huge drama and why it might just be time to move on:
The Hiring of Dave Cameron
It is no secret that baseball analytics do not favor Eric Hosmer. He has been up and down with his total value every year and it is hard to imagine he would find consistency with a new team, in a new league. The Padres recently hired Dave Cameron to head up their analytical department. Baseball minds like that of Cameron are the current rage for major league teams. The team did not bring in such a prestigious mind to absolutely ignore his beliefs. Hosmer would be a hard sell to the Padres newly reformed analytical department. It might not be a coincidence that the Hosmer talk has died down since Cameron was brought aboard the team about one month ago. The writing could be on the wall.
The Scott Boras’ Factor
The “super agent” usually gets what he wants, but the Padres have a history of not working well with Boras. Ron Fowler does not strike me as one who likes to be bullied when it comes to negotiations. Fowler has deep principles and gets highly emotional (as we have seen on the local airwaves) when it comes to the Padres’ future. I doubt that the team will renegotiate with Hosmer as they are well aware that the market is dry on him. The Royals are the only other serious suitors and they have a deep history with Hosmer. He would go down as one of the best Royals of all-time if he re-up’s in K.C. The Padres WILL NOT and SHOULD NOT offer more than what the Royals have already offered for his services-whatever that may be. Boras cannot get blood from a turnip. He will likely get top dollar from a late bidding team or return to Kansas City at a “lesser” rate.
Eric Hosmer comes with the premise that he is the ultimate team player. That is the selling point Team Boras is cramming down the throat of the naysayers to Hosmer’s true worth. But the longer he is unsigned and the farther this drags into spring camp, distracts potential clubhouses that he would be a member of. If the Padres indeed sign him, don’t you think Wil Myers would like a heads up that he needs to work on his outfield game. Eric Hosmer has offers reportedly over $100 million on the table. Some veterans will be offended if he squabbles over pennies and further distracts the team process. Millions of dollars isn’t “chump change”. I get that. And a player should be paid his worth, but come on. You are supposed to be a team player. Make a decision already. This is not a positive reflection of his potential leadership abilities. At some point you need to take control of your representation and get a deal done.
Eric Hosmer will be paid this offseason by someone.
Perhaps he takes a one-year deal worth $30 million from someone and revisits this scenario next winter. Who knows? It may be time for the Padres to just walk away. Hosmer could provide the left-handed bat and presence in the locker room this Padres’ team needs to reach the promise land. He could also be a bust and an anchor on further investments when the team has a clearer picture of their true needs as they compete in major league baseball. Once again. Eric Hosmer is a good player. Let’s not pay him as if he is great.