San Diego Padres could have Eric Hosmer back in 2022
San Diego Padres Eric hosmer had a checkered 2021 season. He had a hot April (.310) and July (.355) but a cold June (0.172) and August (0.244). His problems at home could force the Padres to seek improvement at first baseline, much like they did before last season’s trade deadline. However, the path to acquiring a viable alternative could close, allowing Hosmer to return in 2022.
Hosmer is an underrated run producer
The scout report on Hosmer is that he has a great glove with a good left stick. However, his bat comes alive with baserunners in scoring position. Who could argue? Hosmer hit 90 or more points in four of the five seasons between 2015-19.
In 2020, Hosmer was a key contributor to the brothers making the playoffs in the season shortened by COVID. He reached 0.287 / 0.333 OBP / 0.517 SLG with nine HRs and 36 RBIs in 38 games played. Hosmer’s shot percentage (0.851) was the highest in his days with the Kansas City Royals.
His fielding was also remarkable. He made just two mistakes in 236 defensive chances. It’s safe to say that Hosmer was a wizard with the glove and the bat. Defense has been the calling card of his career, but Hosmer will be best remembered for delivering some hits this season. They helped send the brothers to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
The 2021 season has been a disappointment
But that was not the case last season. Hosmer posted .269 .337 OBP / .395 SLG with 104 OPS + and 1.0 WAR in 151 matches. However, after digesting all of its statistical numbers. Hosmer was not as disappointing as the Faithful Brothers sang during the Padres’ disgrace last summer.
He hit his career average in hard-hit percentage (47.3%) and above his career average in line driving percentage (23.2%). But there are concerns that Hosmer hit career lows in rushing percentage (55.7%) and flyballs (14.8%) last season.
Another unstable campaign could at best cloud his future with the club.
Could the San Diego Padres be in the market to replace Hosmer?
At this point in Hosmer’s career, the Padres would like to find him a taker in the commercial market. But there’s a catch, the Friars owe Hosmer $ 60 million on his initial eight-year / $ 144 million free agent contract. The organization may have to sacrifice one of the minor league’s top prospects to move Hosmer out of town. Swapping his contract will give the brothers the financial flexibility to improve other areas on the roster.
What type of player do the Padres see as a significant improvement at first base over Hosmer? Well, that person has to match him defensively in position, but offer more point production from the batter’s box.
What Matt Olson Offers to the San Diego Padres
One player to watch is Oakland Athletics Matt Olson. It should be available in the commercial market once A’s start tearing down their list. However, the team’s front office has not decided when the rebuilding process will officially begin.
The Friars would acquire one of baseball’s best left-handed hitters today. Olson averaged 40 HR and 105 RBI over a 162-game campaign. Last season, he hit 39 HR with 111 RBIs and scored 101 points. Can you imagine the production of Olson if he beat between Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado? Plus, his power swing will take full advantage of the baseball drop in the jury area in right field.
The A’s will expect a huge return in any potential trade. The only caveat for the team that acquires Olson is that they will have him under control for the next two seasons. The Padres are the perfect business partner as they have a pool of prospects who can become building blocks for the next A-contested ball club.
This is all to no avail if the brothers cannot find a business partner for Hosmer.
But the current lockout has shown the harsh reality that few teams are interested in taking extra pay off their ledgers. The longer this labor dispute lasts, the more time for teams to negotiate trades decreases.
So, it’s hard to see anyone other than Hosmer playing for the Friars’ first goal at the start of the 2022 season.