Kansas City Royals Rumors: Padres genuinely interested in Eric Hosmer

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 22: Eric Hosmer
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 22: Eric Hosmer /

It’s been mentioned before, but it’s becoming clear the Padres have legitimate interest in Eric Hosmer. Will the Kansas City Royals really lose him to San Diego?

The Kansas City Royals appear to have an unlikely competitor in the race to sign Eric Hosmer this offseason. After first expressing interest when owners and general managers met in November, the San Diego Padres have reportedly continued to show genuine interest in bringing in the star first baseman.

On Thursday, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman wrote that San Diego is serious about pursuing Hosmer. It would be an unprecedented move for the Padres. The franchise’s previous record signing is someone Kansas City Royals fans will recognize — Wil Myers.

The former top prospect in the Royals system signed for six years and $83 million last year. Myers is currently playing first base, making San Diego’s interest in Hosmer more than a bit questionable. Signing the slugging left-hander would either lead to putting Myers on the trading block or in the outfield, again.

Heyman claims the Padres really value Hosmer’s leadership abilities, seeing him as a possible veteran leader for a team expected to compete towards the end of his contract. That being said, not everyone is sold on Hosmer being a good fit for San Diego. Heyman’s colleague Evan Davis took a blunt approach to the rumor, with his editorial sporting the headline, “Why would the Padres want Eric Hosmer?”

It’s a valid question.

Aside from the Myers quandary, the decision to sign Hosmer is one that would come with severe scrutiny. While a vast majority of Kansas City Royals fans would like nothing more than to have No. 35 take the field on Opening Day at Kauffman Stadium, others around the league aren’t so high on Hosmer.

Davis doesn’t pull any punches in his article, calling Hosmer “the most overrated position player” on the market. He also is in the large group that believes the 28-year-old is “insanely overrated” on defense. Here’s more from Davis:

"That high ground-ball rate, shoddy defense, high average on balls in play, and a slew of league-average offensive seasons mean Hosmer could collapse next year, saddling a team with a massive albatross hanging around its neck. If Hosmer doesn’t bother learning to get the ball in the air with consistency and frequency, he will probably look more like a replacement-level player than an All-Star."

To be fair, there is a certain amount of risk involved in signing any free agent. For San Diego to break the bank on Hosmer, the Padres need to be absolutely certain of two things. First, that Hosmer will remain healthy enough through the bulk of his long-term deal to offset the inevitable decline as he reaches his mid-thirties. And secondly, the club has to know it can compete within that window.

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The team has a solid farm system. But there is no reason to bring in one of the top free agents — for likely close to $150 million — unless the prospects will be ready to compete for the postseason in the next five years. That’s asking a lot.

As Derek Togerson of San Diego’s NBC affiliate writes, “Odds are it’s not going to happen.” At this point, it seems Togerson is right. However, the Padres haven’t been conventional when it comes to trying to compete in recent years. That means they can’t be discounted as a major factor in the Hosmer sweepstakes.

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What do you think, fans? Does San Diego present a legitimate challenge to signing Hosmer? Will he end up re-signing with the Royals? Let us know your thoughts.