Red Sox Rumors: First baseman Eric Hosmer is a free agent target

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 16: Eric Hosmer
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 16: Eric Hosmer /

The Boston Red Sox are rumored to be interested in free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, who has been an All-Star with the Kansas City Royals.

Looking for an upgrade at first base, the Boston Red Sox are actively targeting Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals, according to a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag.

Hosmer, who finished 2017 with 25 home runs, would add power to a lineup that was desperately lacking in that category a year ago. Hosmer’s total in that category would rank him first on the team.

Heyman also noted that Hosmer’s addition to Boston would be a direct replacement and upgrade to incumbent fist baseman Mitch Moreland, who will also be a free agent this winter.

Hosmer enters free agency as a well-respected clubhouse figure, and a well decorated player. He has won three Gold Glove awards and played in both the 2014 and 2015 World Series, winning the latter.

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Hosmer profiles well as a first baseman in Boston. He hits from the left side of the plate, and plays solid defense at the position. It should be noted, however, that Hosmer has never been the model of consistency over his career. His power numbers are middle of the pack. His 162-game averages sit at 20 homers, 87 RBI, and an OPS+ of 111 (the average being 100.)

In a generally weak free agent class, Hosmer’s going rate will be around $25 million a year. That asking price generally belongs to a 30-homer guy, but Hosmer will benefit from the weak class around him.

With this small window to compete for a World Series with this core in place, it would behoove Boston to aim higher. Like a trade for Joey Votto – a far superior version of Hosmer – to play first base, for instance. For Dombrowski to add pieces like Chris Sale and David Price, a larger move to fill the gap at first base is necessary. It’s easy to understand why the Red Sox would not want to splurge for Votto. While he would provide an upgrade to Hosmer, his cost would also be higher – both in salary and in terms of the prospects Boston would need to surrender to trade for him.

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Nevertheless, Hosmer joins J.D Martinez and Giancarlo Stanton on the list of players whom Boston is watching closely this winter.