For Pete's Sake

Padres resume talks with Eric Hosmer, prepared to make room at first base for him

Eric Hosmer pursed his lips while rounding first after a solo home run against the Tigers last season.
Eric Hosmer pursed his lips while rounding first after a solo home run against the Tigers last season. jsleezer@kcstar.com

While free agent Eric Hosmer remains unsigned, that doesn’t mean things are quiet.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres resumed talks with Hosmer last week and remain optimistic about their chances of signing him. Kevin Acee wrote that “the Padres personnel department has fallen in love with Hosmer — his ability to get on base and his character.”

USA Today reported in January that the Padres made a seven-year, $140 million offer to Hosmer, while the Royals had offered the same number of years but $7 million more. However, sources with the Royals said the team’s offer was closer to $140 million, while Dennis Lin of The Athletic has reported that the Padres’ offer was for less money than what has been reported.

Padres executive chairman and co-owner Ron Fowler has said that the team was “pretty creative” in its offer for Hosmer.

But here’s the thing: The Padres already have an All-Star at first base, former Royals prospect Wil Myers. On Tuesday, San Diego manager Andy Green told MLB.com that Myers will be playing first base when the full camp opens on Monday.

“He’s going to come into camp as a first baseman, right now,” Green said of Myers. “But we’ll tell him to bring his outfield glove along with him.”

Myers was drafted by the Royals as a catcher in the 2009 draft. He moved to the outfield in 2011, playing mostly in right field. That was where he played with the Rays when Myers made his major-league debut in 2013.

After being traded to the Padres in 2015, Myers moved to first base full-time in the 2016 season.

“I’ve watched every ball Wil caught ... in Tampa,” Green told MLB.com. “He’s going to be fine adjusting back to the outfield. It’s not going to take a long amount of time for him to get comfortable back out there. We don’t have this fear that if something were to happen and Wil moved to the outfield, that he has to do it at the beginning of camp.”

If something were to happen, and the Padres signed Hosmer, the team has many reasons to covet Hosmer, who was the 2016 All-Star Game MVP and a key member of the Royals’ 2015 World Series Championship team.

Here is what Acee wrote about the Padres’ thinking on Hosmer:

But with the Padres harboring a goal of contention perhaps as early as 2019 and no later than 2020, the 28-year-old Hosmer would still be in his prime years as the franchise begins what it believes will be an extended window wherein their highly touted prospects make them annual championship contenders.

Further, Hosmer could immediately begin to rub off on the young players and further what the Padres believe is a burgeoning chemistry on the club.

The team’s background work talking with several dozen coaches, players and others who know Hosmer has turned up exclusively positive reports regarding his work ethic and leadership abilities. Additionally, Hosmer is bilingual, which would be a commodity in connecting in an increasingly Latin-infused clubhouse.

Those traits are in addition, of course, to what the Padres think he can do on the field.

You can read more of what Acee wrote here, including how Hosmer would help the Padres offense.

Agent Scott Boras will make an interesting case in hopes of earning former Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer as much as $200 million on the free-agent market. RBIs, OPS, Gold Gloves ... these things matter, But with Hosmer, Boras is also stressing

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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