The Padres and free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer have agreed to an eight-year deal with an opt-out clause after the fifth year, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Several outlets are reporting it's the largest deal in Padres history, and here's how the deal breaks down, according to Bleacher Report's Scott Miller:
Miller notes that there is also a $5 million signing bonus, making this an eight-year, $144 million deal.
For much of the offseason, the Padres have been rumored to be the main suitor for the services of Hosmer. At one point, they were reportedly offering him seven years and $140 million. Instead, it looks like he'll sign a contract for about that amount over one extra year, but have the ability to get out of the contract early.
Hosmer, 28, hit .318/.385/.498 with 31 doubles, 25 homers, 94 RBI, 98 runs and six steals last season for the Royals. He's a four-time Gold Glove winner at first base and, of course, has the championship pedigree -- having been a member of two pennant winners and one World Series champion in Kansas City. Beyond any numbers, Hosmer is widely regarded as a great leader and clubhouse presence, something the Padres could really use with such a young and inexperienced team, especially when it comes to winning at the big-league level.
The acquisition of Hosmer pushes Wil Myers back to the outfield for the Padres.
It remains to be seen how the outfield situation will shake out. Obviously, Hosmer and Myers will play everyday. That leaves two spots (including center field). Let's take a look:
- Jose Pirela looked to be the everyday left fielder before this deal. He hit .288/.347/.490 (122 OPS+) last season in just 83 games. He heads to his age-28 season.
- Manuel Margot hit .263/.313/.409 (92 OPS+) last season as a rookie. He's only entering his age-23 season and is easily the best defender in center field on this ballclub.
- Hunter Renfroe was the Padres' 2013 first-round pick. In his first full season at age 25 last year, he hit .231/.284/.467 (97 OPS+) with 25 doubles and 26 homers. He flashed some really nice power potential, so would the Padres really want to bench him now?
It seems like Margot has to stay on the field due to the defense factor, so Myers will grab a corner spot and the Padres need to decide how to deploy Pirela and Renfroe.
Of course, this is something that could work itself out eventually via either injury or performance. For now, the most important thing is that Hosmer has found a home and the Padres got their target.