Pretty much every top free agent is still out there, and the No. 2 free agent on the market this winter is Eric Hosmer, who reportedly has a pair of seven-year offers on the table.
Eric Hosmer, coveted all winter by the San Diego Padres, now has another surprising small-market team going head-to-head for his services. Yes, his old team. The Kansas City Royals have offered Hosmer a franchise-record seven-year, $147 million contract, persons close to Hosmer told USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity since negotiations are still undergoing. Hosmer also has a seven-year, $140 million offer from the Padres, people close to Hosmer say, which is $1 million less a year than the Royals’ deal.
Eric. My man. What are we waiting for here? I can’t be the only person who thinks this is a no-brainer.
Last offseason, I wrote about how the Royals were anticipating Hosmer commanding a 10-year deal in free agency. I think the days of seeing contracts of that length in Major League Baseball are behind us. Rarely do they ever work out, and teams are finally realizing this, hence why the two best offers for Hosmer (that we know of), who’s only 28 years old, are “only” seven years in length.
In either case, whether Hosmer accepts the Padres’ offer or the Royals’, he’ll be the owner of the most lucrative contract in either franchise’s history. The Padres, as reported, aren’t offering as much money as the Royals, but it’s the smallest of margins between their offer and Kansas City’s.
This just seems like such a no-brainer to me when you weigh all of the factors. Cash is always king, so that’s a check for the Royals. Length of the deal is a push. Direction of the franchise? Well, I’d say both teams aren’t contending for a World Series any time soon, but I’ve got a lot more faith in Dayton Moore’s ability to build a winner over the next seven years than AJ Preller, so we’ll call that a check for the Royals. Comfortability? Well, Hosmer’s played his entire career in Kansas City, so that’s another check for the Royals, although I’d be tempted to lose in San Diego over losing in Kansas City if I felt like both avenues were doomed. But then I’d come to my senses and realize that I’m a God in Kansas City and it just wouldn’t be even remotely the same experience with the Padres.
With the Red Sox re-signing Mitch Moreland, the Phillies signing Carlos Santana, and the Mets not realizing that the offseason has started yet, then that just about covers the market for Hosmer. I’d say it’s really down to the Padres and the Royals, and I’ll be honest in saying that I did not think that Kansas City would even match San Diego’s offer, never mind exceed it. I’d be stunned if Hosmer didn’t end up back in Kansas City where he’s valued more by that organization than by any other organization on planet earth.