The Boston Red Sox re-signed first baseman Mitch Moreland to a two-year contract on Monday, a move that effectively removed them from the sweepstakes for free agent Eric Hosmer.
The Red Sox were long considered a possible destination for Hosmer, the Royals’ starting first baseman, in part because of their need at the position and in part because of their ability to wield enormous financial resources. Hosmer has been seeking a long-term deal that could potentially exceed $150 million, according to industry sources. The Red Sox have been eyeing both Hosmer and slugger J.D. Martinez, perhaps the two best position players on the open market.
Yet Monday’s move — the Red Sox reportedly guaranteed Moreland $13 million across two seasons — could serve to further dilute the market for Hosmer’s services.
What happens now? The San Diego Padres have emerged as a surprise bidder and have been active over the last two weeks, while other teams could emerge if the price continues to shrink.
The Royals, meanwhile, remain interested in a reunion with Hosmer while mostly signaling a willingness to walk away from third baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Lorenzo Cain as the club enters what could be a long rebuilding process.