PEORIA, Ariz. -- After an offseason filled with slow-churning drama, the Padres have landed their top target -- and one of the top targets on the entire market. Eric Hosmeris headed to San Diego, multiple sources confirmed late Saturday night. The 28-year-old first baseman has agreed to an eight-year contract that includes an opt-out after the fifth year,'s Jon Paul Morosi reports.
The club has not confirmed the deal, which was first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune. It is pending a physical, which will take place Monday, and team officials have declined to comment until afterward. According to multiple reports, Hosmer's deal is worth $144 million -- $20 million per year the first five seasons and $13 million each of the final three, along with a $5 million signing bonus -- making it the largest contract in franchise history. Hosmer will have a full no-trade clause for the first three seasons, along with limited trade protection after that.
Hosmer is set to become the franchise's first baseman of the future, with Wil Myers -- who had previously held that tag -- headed to the outfield. Myers, whose $83 million deal was the largest in franchise history, has said he'd gleefully accept a move to a corner-outfield spot if it meant bringing Hosmer on board. The two were once farmhands together in the Royals' organization.
"I do love first base," Myers said. "But I would much rather have a guy like that here than to play first base."
Entering his age-28 season, Hosmer was the youngest major free agent available this offseason. That fact was particularly appealing to the San Diego front office. The Padres have one of the youngest rosters in baseball and arguably the sport's best farm system. In Myers, Austin HedgesManuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, they have an offensive core under team control through 2022.
In theory, Hosmer will still be in his prime as some of those youngsters begin to flourish in San Diego. The Padres believe their young core will soon make them regular contenders in the National League West, and this move undoubtedly expedites that process.
"Hos is a legitimate All-Star, he's a great player, he brings veteran experience, he's a winner, he's a champion and a great mentor for young guys," said right-hander Chris Young, Hosmer's former teammate in Kansas City. "He fits all the categories you're looking for in terms of a teammate, a leader, a competitor, and I think he makes any clubhouse better."
Hosmer batted .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers last season for Kansas City, where he quickly became a fan favorite. He's a lifetime .284/.342/.439 hitter and played a pivotal role on the 2014-15 Royals teams that captured back-to-back American League pennants and the '15 World Series title. His mad dash home in the ninth inning of Game 5 is the lasting image from that Series. Now, it's the Padres hoping Hosmer can make a few lasting October images of his own at Petco Park.
Because Hosmer received a qualifying offer and the Royals are a recipient of revenue sharing, they will receive a compensation pick after the first round of this June's Draft. And because the deal will be in excess of $50 million, that pick will come right after the first round. They already received a similar pick after the first round when Lorenzo Cain signed with Milwaukee. Third baseman Mike Moustakas remains a free agent as well, and he also received a qualifying offer, which means the Royals will receive another compensation pick should he sign elsewhere. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement's rules, that compensation pick would come after Competitive Balance Round B, which follows the second round, if the deal falls short of $50 million in total.
As a result of all these compensation picks and the associated Draft bonus allocations, the Royals will likely have one of the five largest bonus pools in this year's Draft, which should jump-start their rebuild. Meanwhile, the Padres, who are also a revenue-sharing recipient, will lose their third-highest selection as a result of this signing, which shouldn't have a significant impact on their Draft.
In the immediate future, Hosmer is expected to slot into the middle of a Padres lineup that desperately needed some left-handed pop. He'll be joined there by Myers, presumably forming the meat of the order and giving Myers protection for the first time in two seasons. Myers' move to the outfield creates a ripple effect as well. Renfroe and Jose Pirela now appear poised to compete for the other corner-outfield job.
"You have a lot of guys fighting for not necessarily a ton of at-bats," said Padres manager Andy Green, who otherwise declined to comment on Hosmer until the deal is official. "It's good for our culture, it's good for our clubhouse for guys to know 'I've got to perform if I want to play for the Padres, because if not, there's somebody else right there knocking on the door waiting to come.' The more competitive we can make it to get at-bats on the roster, the better of a club we're going to be."
The Padres could move Pirela -- a line-drive machine who has struggled with the glove -- back to second base. But that would only serve to shake things up further in the infield.
Of course, that's a question for another day. For now, the Padres have their man -- a player who has already helped revitalize one franchise and brought a World Series to a title-starved city. They're hopeful for more of the same in San Diego.
AJ Cassavell/

Comments are closed.