“Padres-Good Move or Bad?”
Baseball camps are opening everywhere in Arizona and Florida, the Padres included.
Also opening is the Unsigned Free Agent camp in Bradenton, Florida, for some of the 110-still unsigned free agents.
Some big bats and big name veteran pitchers are still unsigned including the one marquee name the Padres are still very interested in.
Eric Hosmer is the 28-year old power hitting first baseman and the emotional leader of the Kansas City Royals. He’s still unsigned, and surprisingly, only the small budget Padres and his Royals have made bids.
The going rate seems to be 7-years and 140M from KC, and something close to that from the Friars. But he has not accepted either deal.
Of course agent Scott Boras has the history of dragging negotiations for his clients on and on, trying to create bidding wars. This year, however everyone of his big guys, seeking big contracts, are still out there.
The Padres sales pitch is about more than just his stats, coming off a solid 2017, and more than just his great glove, but also about his clubhouse chemistry and leadership ability.
The big debate as I see it, with the Padres likely headed to a 60M payroll, does it make sense to give one third of your budget to one player?
Homer’s stats are solid. A lifetime (.284) hitter, with 68-homers in the last three years as he blossomed into stardom. Solid, as is a career defensive stat, a (.995) fielding percentage with just 49-errors in 7-seasons.
Last year Hosmer raked (.318) with 25-hojers 94-RBIs, 51-doubles and 66-walks.
There are some common sense questions that need to be asked about a deal like this.
If you go 7-years, what will you be getting production wise, the final 4-years of that deal, when Hosmer is 33-years going forward.?
Boras wanted 8-years, but no one is going in that direction.
Now as talks stalled comes a unique tidbit….give Hosmer an opt out clause after 3-years that might allow him to to re-enter free agency again, at age 32. That type of clause might lure him out of Kansas City, where a major rebuild is about to begin.
The Padres are halfway home in their rebuild project, with seven kids having arrived last year, and more likely to come this season. The Royals are a longer way off.
Maybe, the Padres should also be able to put an opt-out clause that could allow them to exit over the final couple of years if his stats tail off. Of course Boras would never buy into that deal.
Homer has lots of positives, and would surely make the Padres lineup more complete, surrounding him with Will Myers, Chase Headley, Manny Margot and Hunter Renfroe.
You always wonder if Hosmer can reproduce those stats in San Diego. He was surrounded by 38-home run hitter Mike Moustakas, big bat Lorenzo Cain, slugging catcher Sal Perez, and slap hitters Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrera.
You don’t really see that type of talent in the current San Diego lineup.
So the debate rages now. Give him one-third of your payroll?. Hope he is productive the next three to five years as all the young draft picks and internationals arrive?
Better days are going to San Diego, but one wonders if Hosmer fast forwards the success of the franchise, or just bides his time, till better pitching arrives. If he thought he had to play behind weak pitching last year in KC, wait till he investigates what is on the major league roster this year.
Decision time is coming. Overpay now hoping you can ride a Hosmer waves, or wait another year, till more free agents come available and you have a better roster around him?
Not my money, but I’d sign the check and expect the best.