The Red Sox announced yesterday the re-signing of their former first baseman Mitch Moreland to a two year, $13 million deal. This signing produced major implications in the free agent market, most directly affecting free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Many saw the Red Sox as an optimal designation for the former Royal. Hosmer is coming off a great season, after having slow start he finished with .318 batting average, .385 OPS, and .498 SLG. All earning him a Silver Slugger award and a Golden Glove. On top of all that, Hosmer is a clubhouse guy. He has the characteristics to build an organization around (something the Royals are fully aware of). Hosmer’s girlfriend, NESN Reporter Kacie Mcdonnell, also lives in Boston and seemingly would add on to the appeal for Hosmer to move to the Red Sox. The Red Sox also are looking for a power hitter to add to their line up–something they’ve missed since David Ortiz retired after the 2016 season. Adding Hosmer would have allowed them to add a big bat, while moving Hanley Ramirez to a full time DH.
Now with Moreland back in the line up, Hosmer is out. So what’s next on the radar for the Sox? J.D Martinez.Before the Sox resigned Moreland, there was speculation whether the Red Sox would go Martinez, who has more raw power, or Hosmer who is more of an all-around bat. It’s clear that the Red Sox prefer the former rather than the later, especially now with Giancarlo Stanton in the Yankees lineup. Dave Dombrowski, the president of baseball operation for the Red Sox, said on Monday that he would be comfortable going into Spring Training with the current lineup, but to me that seems not likely. I expect the Red Sox to beat out the Giants and D-Backs for Martinez.
And what about Hosmer? Now it looks like the Padres and the Royals will be in top competition for him. The Padres have been in heated talks with Hosmer’s agent Scott Boras and seems to be able to offer a lot of money for him and the Royals now find themselves in a more likely position to be able to resign Hosmer. If the Padres were to sign Hosmer, they would be moving their current first baseman Will Meyers (a former Royals top prospect) to the outfield, where he hasn’t performed extremely well. Or Hosmer goes back to the Royals. If this happens it will certainly be the biggest contract the Royals have ever signed (by a lot), but they would be getting back their franchise player in key rebuilding years where his presence in the clubhouse would be felt.
It will be an interesting few weeks for the two power hitting free agents.