The Eric Hosmer Talk is Simply to Sell Tickets

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Credit: USA Today Sports

Let’s be honest.

When you see something indicating that the San Diego Padres are internally discussing the possibility of signing Eric Hosmer, you get excited. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic recently published a piece stating that the baseball operations department of the Padres is indeed discussing Eric Hosmer. They are certainly kicking the tires on the first baseman.

As a starved Padre fan, you can only hope that the team is about to spend money on the open market. Or can you?

The future of this team is bright, but it is just that… the future. The present Padre squad is not ready to compete, and rightfully so, as the roster is full of young developing players. Bringing in Eric Hosmer, a former World Series Champion, will not guarantee success. If you bring in all-star caliber talent and surround them with youth and inexperience, you are asking for trouble.

Contrary to what Ron Fowler has recently said on local airwaves, the Padres do not have the goal of .500 for next season. Or at least they shouldn’t have that goal. You either play for it all, or you play for a higher draft pick. Plain and simple. Finishing in the middle is pointless. Padres fans have been there. Its time to move on.

Ron Fowler was on the air, trying to sell tickets. Trying to show fans that he is passionate about winning. There is no doubt in my mind that he is tired of losing, but even he has to realize that the Padres need to be patient. Their time is finally coming. After years of incompetence, the team has a direction.

If you have rooted for this team for any extended period, you realize how useless the front office has been from time to time. Making horrible trades, just to do it, has been a common theme over the years. Andrew Cashner for Anthony Rizzo and Ryan Ludwick for Corey Kluber were both horrendous trades for the franchise.

Bad trades happen. That is part of the game. But the team has also failed to entertain free agents that are a fit for the team, while at the same time signing the likes of Jered Weaver and James Shields. Eric Hosmer would be another blunder. The Padres have also been historically miserable cultivating talent from within their farm system. Year after year, the farm produced nothing but mediocre players. That already has changed as Hunter Renfroe, Austin Hedges, Franchy Cordero, and Dinelson Lamet are the first wave of homegrown talent that has arrived at the major league level. More are on the way as well, and with that, there is a definite sense that this A.J. Preller regime will deliver.

The Padres are indeed kicking the tires on Eric Hosmer, but do not expect anything from this.

(Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Read the signs on the wall. The San Diego Padres realize they are rebuilding. They know that the time is not right to go for it. With the Dodgers presently loaded, the Giants still dangerous, and the Rockies and Diamondbacks surging, the team wisely should not push all their chips in quite yet.

Eric Hosmer makes sense in that the team desperately needs a left-handed bat in the middle of their order. I get that. He makes sense as he absolutely rakes at Petco Park  (15-34 .441 with three home runs in 34 at bats) and is still relatively young (28). But on the open market, his asking price will easily exceed $100 million dollars in total. The Padres should want absolutely nothing to do with that. The team might have money to spend, but now is not the time.

All this talk of Hosmer is carefully placed into the media to reflect that the team is “doing things”. The Padres are very well capable of making a blockbuster trade this winter, but they will not, and should not, spend any substantial amount of money (unless it is on Shohei Otani). And even then, with their $300,000 spending limit on him, they would need a miracle to obtain the Japanese “Babe Ruth“.

Go buy your tickets. This Padre team will be exciting to watch. They are young and they will provide plenty of great action. But like all young players, there will be growing pains, and they can be unbearable to watch from time to time. Even though the 2018 season might be rough for Padre fans, they can take solace that the horizon is bright. It just won’t contain Eric Hosmer.

10 thoughts on “The Eric Hosmer Talk is Simply to Sell Tickets

  1. Hey James, great article. I enjoy reading pieces from other fans who are continually frustrated (like me) and can put a good case out there. I do think we have one of the stranger sports franchises in sports and you are as mystified as many of us are.

    Fowler is a politician and has done a great job marketing this “club” but I really think he cares less about the baseball side than we think. His only motivation is cash, and that’s part in parcel to why AJ Preller is our GM: he’s out looking for diamonds in the rough and that doesn’t cost much in the scheme of things. If you look at the organization in two parts: the flash and the product, you can see where all the money goes and is being taken in.

    Fowler isn’t trying to sell tickets, he’s just marketing. His only preoccupying himself with adding every square inch of advertising possible to the video game we call “Petco”. If Fowler were a politician, he’d be like a 3rd world military despot, telling everyone how great things are while not providing basic necessities. Our basic necessities are to be competitive and have a fun team to watch. And while I know that many are eating up the “next” Cubs/Astros premise, we are not that, and that is Fowler at work.

    You said “rebuilding” in your article but let’s be frank, it’s not technically possible for the Padres to do that. We have never had a sustained period of winning in our history. 1995-1998 were great but that was really wrought from savvy trades and not the result of a system which bore fruit. If you look at that period even, we still didn’t even have that great of a run. The Padres could be said to be “building” right now but this is where I might disagree with you on Hosmer. We need this exact type of guy (along with another bat) for the mere psychology of the other players and fans. We as fans know that we do not have a competitive team. The players, naturally understand this too. Watching Myers completely devolve as a hitter while Renfroe and Hedges break out of the gates trying to smash home runs while batting their weight is a good indication that we have a player mindset that is misguided. Sure, Stairs might be able to help us, or some coach in the revolving door system of the Padres organization, but at this critical point, I feel some solid veteran presence is critical to the future success of our young core. They need protection in the lineup, reassurance that it’s not on them to produce (um, press at the plate), and a clubhouse mentality that they can and will win, with time and patience. Sure, it’s oversimplifying but watching Wil Myers begin to fall apart before his peak after he inked “face of the franchise” type contract is heartbreaking and well, stupid.

    Preller did screw that contract up and could have paid Wil half of that. But, that’s done and he needs to put pieces around these guys. It’s something they did all the way back in 1983 and ’84 and that veteran presence helped Kevin McReynolds, Garry Templeton, and a guy named Gwynn succeed.

    They may publicly want Hosmer, but they need him much more. The spotlight needs to shift onto him and one other bat, who they probably have to trade for. Move Wil to the outfield and give him a chance to play his game. He’s not a “spotlight” guy.

    In our current format though, I have little hope and I’m not buying the bs that Fowler is laying out there. I have no doubt that Preller can find us talent internationally but we still have to develop it, and the Pads have never been good at that. It is now time to spend some money, but then again, they don’t have to, the ballpark will always have sellouts when the Dodgers, Giants, Mets, and Cubs show up….

  2. You should add the trade of Ross and Turner for Meyers to your list of bad trades. WE then added to that Fiasco by giving Meyers the largest contract in Franchise history and made him the cornerstone of this franchise. My biggest issue with Meyers is he is just average at best with more flaws at the plate then our prospects who get highly criticized for similar flaws. He is RH at a position that is a spot for a LH power bat normally. For every reason you mention on the idea of getting Hosmer the team should of not signed Meyers long term, PERIOD.

  3. This is a tricky one. Poistives – Hosmer would add a good left handed bat, a great glove, and leadership, which with all of the young guys we hope come up the next few years will be extra valuable. Could be a bargain compared to the contracts being talked about for next years free agents. Negatives – this would be the largest contract in team history, for a guy I would not consider a super star. What would the Padres do with the 2nd largest contract in team history? Would/could Myers be moved to 3rd base, one of the few positions that the Padres do not have a good prospect to fill down the road? My verdict- with all of the young pitching hopefully coming up the next couple of years, adding a bat like Hosmer’s, would help this team. To me it comes down to the contract size and length.

    1. Move Myers to 3B? That would be interesting but at the same time if Myers was a bit of a butcher at 1B I can’t imagine he’ll get better at 3B. Plus I don’t see that happening in many cases with major players.

  4. Well said James. Padres should stay the course of the rebuild through AJ Preller. Hosmer would be a nice addition but it’s not what this team needs to do in the offseason. It would cost us a draft pick and create issues with Myers and Naylor. 2018 should be another wave of exciting talent presenting itself and 2019 things begin to really get exciting for this club. Maybe this time next year Padre fans could consider getting excited for a star free agent to come to San Diego but I doubt it. We need to trust Preller and company to do what is neccesarry for future long term success.

    1. I’d agree with you KL but Wil has to actually perform at the major league level and Naylor still has to get here. I say we cross that bridge when we get to it. I’d love to see Wil succeed but he’s not really a guy to carry the team- it’d be nice to see some help for him in the lineup. My take, for what it’s worth is we need some solid veteran presence in the clubhouse, we really don’t have it, and I don’t think Wil is really leadership material, at least at this point. It was kind of crazy for Preller to pay him to be that but I guess he has a plan.

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