The Kansas City Royals and several teams will be interested in obtaining the signature of Eric Hosmer this offseason. So who else is looking to sign him?
The Yankees and Dodgers are committed to cutting salary in 2018. They also both have young first basemen whom they love. The Angels have the position tied up in the form of Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron. The Giants have more than a significant investment in Brandon Belt. Hosmer’s hometown team, the Miami Marlins, have no interest in a first baseman either, as Justin Bour has been producing well when he is healthy.
Now that the homer in me is done … if these big spenders are out, what other teams may try to persuade Eric Hosmer to leave the Kansas City Royals?
Boston Red Sox
This is a match made in heaven. First base is one of the few holes you can find on Boston’s roster. The Red Sox haven’t made any comments about shedding salary and have been very aggressive in recent seasons, as far as competing. If the Red Sox throw everything they have into recruiting Hosmer, there may not be many other teams that can compete with them.
New York Mets
Lucas Duda will be a free agent in the upcoming days, as well, leaving the Mets with a gap to fill at first base. They’ve been scuffling since the 2015 World Series, but I doubt they take the teardown route. The Mets will likely be looking to make a big splash this offseason. I have an uneasy feeling that Hosmer may be that splash. Such a signing would be incredibly ironic after his Game 5 dash, as Duda’s errant throw is what allowed his possible replacement to create one of the most important plays in the history of both the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets.
The Rangers will have a considerable amount of payroll flexibility this offseason. As many have noted, however, they are more likely to chase after reliable starting pitching. Their staff sported a not-so-pretty 4.66 ERA in 2017, lost Yu Darvish at the trade deadline and forfeited Andrew Cashner, who was their most reliable starting pitcher, to free agency. I don’t think Texas is very concerned with their offensive production, especially in the infield. The Rangers merit mention simply due to the size of the market and, therefore, their capability to take on big contracts.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis is another team with payroll flexibility that has no problem in paying large contracts. While Matt Carpenter is not going anywhere, the Cardinals can certainly shift their infield around if they desire. However, I don’t believe that is their intention, especially with the emergence of Paul DeJong in 2017. The Cardinals don’t seem that interested in signing Hosmer. I rate the chance of him going to St. Louis at slim to none at this point.
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The dark horse to watch out for in all of this is the Seattle Mariners. Now, their payroll is growing higher than they have ever been used to. Significant amounts of money are tied up in Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez and Kyle Seager going forward, so it will be interesting to see if they would like to add another massive contract to the bunch. They just might go all in for the 2018 season. And if they do, Hosmer is absolutely the perfect match. With Nelson Cruz annihilating pitchers everywhere, Cano still producing and Seager in his prime, the addition of Hosmer could elevate the core of this lineup to the absolute best in baseball. With a couple of other roster staples set to be free agents after the 2018 season, it wouldn’t shock me to see the Mariners go all in.
Many of the big-spending teams appear uninterested. But the Red Sox and Mets have the ability to ignite a bidding war if they so choose, and the Mariners should be monitored closely and taken seriously. While the fan in me would love nothing more than to see Eric Hosmer continue to don a Kansas City Royals jersey going forward, we need to prepare for life without him.