The Royals’ pursuit of first baseman Eric Hosmer possibly received a boost because of a hiring by one of the first baseman’s reported suitors.
Reports surfaced last week that the Royals had made a seven-year, $147 million offer for Hosmer, who is a free agent, while the Padres were offering a seven-year, $140 million contract.
On Wednesday, David Cameron of FanGraphs announced that he had been hired by the Padres to build out a Research and Development department.
That may seem unrelated to the Padres’ interest in Hosmer, but Cameron has written about how teams should avoid signing Hosmer.
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In November, Cameron’s story for FanGraphs had the headline “The 2018 Free Agent Landmines.”
The No. 1 player on that list? Hosmer.
Here is part of what Cameron wrote:
“For the bulk of Hosmer’s career, he’s been a slightly above-average hitter while playing a position where hitting is the primary job description. …
“But a nice contract for this kind of skillset would be $80 or $90 million. I guessed that he’s actually going to get $125 million. Jon Heyman projected $160 million. At those kinds of prices, Hosmer could very easily become one of the most overpaid players in baseball, especially if he continues to just pound balls into the ground.
“There’s enough youth and upside here that a team can rationally justify $20 million a year for four years, but once they pass either of those marks, they’d very likely be better off just signing one of the cheaper first baseman and throwing the difference at another quality free agent. ...”
The Padres’ reported offer is well above what Cameron thinks he’s worth.
Cameron said he starts his new job next week, so it’s entirely possible that he will have no effect on the Padres’ plans for Hosmer. But San Diego hired a Hosmer detractor, and it’s not a stretch to think that Cameron could have an impact of the team’s plans.
If that’s the case, that could help the Royals’ chances of bringing back Hosmer.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted: “I did MLB Now with Dave Cameron and he was hardly a fan of Eric Hosmer, pointing out groundball-hitting, range-on-defense worries, and he is now going to #Padres, 1 of few teams so far linked to Hosmer. Good luck to Dave, but I guess good luck to Hosmer, too.”
Here is the video that Sherman mentioned, and Cameron talks about Hosmer as the MLB TV crew discusses the Eye Test vs. Metrics debate.