Red Sox acquiring Eric Hosmer after he refuses to be part of Padres’ Juan Soto trade package
At 12:09 PM on Tuesday, as news broke that Eric Hosmer refused to be a part of the San Diego Padres’ blockbuster Juan Soto trade with the Washington Nationals, I jokingly tweeted, “Watch Hosmer somehow end up on the Red Sox by 6 PM.”
That sarcasm is about to become reality.
While the Nationals were on Hosmer’s no-trade list, the Boston Red Sox were not, so here he comes. The return remains to be seen, but Jeff Passan reports they’ll be paying “a significant portion” of his remaining $44M salary. The Padres have been trying to unload his albatross of a contract for over a year; they signed him to a then-franchise record 8-year, $144M deal ahead of the 2018 season. But with fellow first baseman Josh Bell arriving in the Soto trade, the Padres needed to find a new home for Hosmer. Having several teams on his no-trade list made that difficult, as did his struggles in San Diego.
Five years ago, this trade would be a huge get. During the first seven years of his big-league career with the Kansas City Royals, Hosmer finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting, received MVP votes in two seasons, was an All-Star, and won four Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger. The Royals won the 2015 World Series. But since signing his blockbuster contract with the Padres five years ago, he’s underperformed expectations. Over 596 games in SoCal, Hosmer hit .265/.325/.411 with a .737 OPS, all significantly lower metrics than his totals in KC.
Hosmer’s arrival guarantees Chaim Bloom is far from done making moves. If Hosmer is to play first base and Bloom trades JD Martinez, Bobby Dalbec could shift to third while Rafael Devers takes the DH role.
Eric Hosmer is a longtime mentor to Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas
It seemed unrealistic that the Sox would target Hosmer when they have top prospect Triston Casas waiting in the wings, but that’s also the huge twist in this trade. Hosmer went to the same high school as the Red Sox prospect, who also plays first base. The Sox selected Casas 26th overall in the 2018 draft, and he’s known Hosmer since he was a kid; the MLB vet has been a mentor of sorts. Likely, that added value factored into the Red Sox targeting Hosmer, as they prepare for Casas to debut in the near future:
"“I met Hosmer probably when I was in about 10th grade. He heard I was a pretty good player from the area. I went to his high school. And a friend of mine actually hits with his older brother. And I was able to be in contact with them. And they invited me to his house one day to hit. And I was like, ‘Man, of course I’m going to go. Eric Hosmer!He really kind of took me under his wing. He really wanted to be a mentor knowing I’m from his area. He wanted to help me out as much as he could. Just trying to talk to me, just trying to prepare me for professional baseball. Whether that would be going to his house to hit or going out to eat, he was always there for me. And his family was very generous in talking to me whenever I needed to. And he’s not a bad guy to keep in contact with. So I’m glad that they were so generous as to let me into their family, so to speak.”"
Earlier this season, sources indicated that Casas would debut this year, but an ankle injury set his timeline back. Instead, his mentor will take the field when the Sox return to Boston after this road trip.
Update: Red Sox sending Jay Groome to Padres in Eric Hosmer trade, which also includes two prospects going to Boston
As of an hour before the trade deadline, FanSided’s own Robert Murray reports that the Sox are sending Jay Groome to the Padres in the Hosmer trade.
Chris Cotillo added that the Padres are sending Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier to Boston with Hosmer.