Kansas City’s four-time Gold Glove winner, former All-Star Game MVP and beloved first baseman is no longer a Royal. In a shocking development Saturday night, Eric Hosmer agreed to terms with the Padres on an eight-year contract. What are the specific details? How did this come about? Find out below.
The tension and speculation surrounding Eric Hosmer have been non-stop since the conclusion of the 2017 MLB regular season. No one knew whether or not the All-Star first baseman would return to Kansas City or take on the role of being a franchise player somewhere else. Instead of Hosmer agreeing to an extension with the Royals, he chose to follow Dayton Moore’s well-known philosophy by “trusting the process.” Unfortunately, the process won’t end where it began for Hosmer. I’m sure all of you know what happened by now but if you don’t, let’s fill you in.
What the heck is going on?
It all started with this tweet:
It was then followed by this one:
As you can see, the news broke and was confirmed very quickly. Hosmer and the Padres agreed to an eight-year, $144 million contract with an opt-out clause following the fifth year of the deal. This is the largest contract in franchise history and takes one of the biggest free agent names in all of baseball off the board.
Despite Dayton Moore not directly confirming it, there were many reports last month that the Royals offered a seven-year, $147 million contract to Hosmer. The per-year average of the deal would have been $21 million, higher than that of the deal Hosmer ended up signing with San Diego ($18 million/year). Hosmer’s new deal includes a $5 million signing bonus and is worth $20 million/year for the first five seasons, then $13 million/year if he chooses to stay in San Diego after the opt-out clause kicks in.
What does this mean?
This means quite a bit. The Royals do not have a clear first baseman on the roster to start opening day. There will be a battle in spring training between players such as Hunter Dozier and Ryan O’Hearn for the starting first base job. Manager Ned Yost stated at least five positions don’t have definite starters for opening day, with first base being one of them. The intensity of competition just became even more serious this spring.
Another thing to think about: why did Eric Hosmer decide to go to San Diego? The Royals had a lot to offer (more money, legacy, fanbase, etc.). Evidently, it did come down to what was reported to be the main point of dispute to begin with: the length of the contract. All along, Hosmer and his manager, Scott Boras, wanted nothing less than an eight-year deal. Hosmer finally got what he desired so heavily. Perhaps he just wanted stability? Is the Padres’ outlook for the future really that much better than Kansas City’s? These questions should all be answered in the immediate future. For now, there’ll be plenty of speculation.
What do you think, Royals fans? Did Eric Hosmer make the right choice? Will he end up missing Kansas City? Is he worth $144 million? Let us know what you have to say!