Eric Hosmer’s departure hurt the KC Royals and hasn’t been great for him.
Eric Hosmer was a star in Kansas City. He won four Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger and an All-Star berth, and hit .284 with a .342 OBP and 127 homers in his seven Royals seasons. And he clubbed 25 homers in both 2016 and 2017.
But Kansas City couldn’t hold him after 2017—San Diego landed him for $144 million over eight years. The money is obviously and spectacularly good for Hosmer, but how good has their investment been for the Padres?
The answer is, as they say, in the eyes of the beholder.
On one hand, Hosmer averaged 20 homers, slightly better than the 18.1 he averaged with KC, in his first two San Diego seasons, and hit .287 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs in the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 campaign, which extrapolates to a little more than 24 homers and 97 RBIs over a full season. And he did that in just 38 games.
On the other hand, Hosmer’s San Diego batting average and OBP (.264 and .323) are both 13 points lower than his Kansas City clips, and his OPS (.738) is worse by 43 points. The Padres hoped he’d lead them to the World Series, but they’ve made the postseason only once since he arrived.
Trade deadline rumors had the Padres shopping Hosmer last summer, but Kansas City reacquiring Hosmer would have been unwise. So, too, would dealing for him now; although Hosmer left the Royals in a frustrating three-season first base lurch when he left, they have Carlos Santana at first and slugger Nick Pratto will likely replace him before the 2022 season ends. Both are far less expensive than Hosmer.
The departures of four key Royals after the 2017 season have met with mixed results for them and the club.