Deven Marrero and Eric Hosmer are the best of friends.
They grew up in Florida, played high school baseball at the American Heritage School and won a state championship in 2008. When Hosmer was drafted by the Royals after high school, the two dreamed of one day being teammates on a major-league team.
Marrero, an infielder with the Red Sox, thought that might happen this year, because Hosmer became a free agent at the end of last season. But Boston signed Mitch Moreland in December, and was not in the mix to sign Hosmer.
On Sunday, Marrero told Boston media members that Hosmer was surprised the Red Sox didn’t push for his services.
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“I mean, yeah,” Marrero told the Boston Globe. “He obviously wanted to play for a contender. That’s what everybody wants to do. And play for this great city, this great organization, which has a winning tradition. I mean, he would have loved to be here just like everyone else for sure.”
While disappointed he won’t be in the same clubhouse as Hosmer, Marrero said he’s not upset.
“That’s just the way it goes,” Marrero told the Globe. “I’m happy for Mitch. I’m happy he’s back with us. Mitch is a great player. But it’s a business at the end of the day. Would I have loved Eric to be here? One hundered and 10 percent. No question about it. But Mitch is a great player. We’re happy to have him here.”
The fact that Hosmer, who helped the Royals win the 2015 World Series, signed after spring-training camps had opened around baseball seemed unlikely when free agency started.
But even as the offseason stretched on, Hosmer never wavered in the belief that he would get a big deal somewhere.
“He’s not that type of person,” Marrero told WEEI.com. “He’s the type of guy who wants what he wants and he’s going to get what he wants. He knows his value and he knew what he wanted and that was it. He kept working hard every day. He was the same old guy every day. We live together. We train together every day. Nothing was different. He just knew what he wanted and he was going to wait until he got it. ...
“There was nothing in him that was worrying him or anything like that. He knew he was going to get what he was going to get. I’m sure he’s happy making a decision, that’s why he waited so long. He’s not the type of person. He’s not the type who freaks out, who panics and stuff like that. He was cool as a cucumber. He handled it perfectly. He got bullied there a little bit at the beginning, but that didn’t faze him. He knew his worth and got what he deserved.”
That faith in himself paid off as Hosmer is getting an eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres.