On the eve of position players reporting to spring camp, the San Diego Padres have signed first baseman Eric Hosmer to an eight-year deal, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reported that Hosmer will receive $144 million with $105 million guaranteed, available to opt into a three-year, $39 million remaining agreement after 2022. Acee initially said that an opt-out is available in the contract after five seasons.
Hosmer, 28, spent the first seven years of his career with the Kansas City Royals. He is a career .284/.342/.439 hitter worth 14.1 WAR over that span.
Ranked by MLB Trade Rumors as the third-best free-agent available, Hosmer was a centerpiece of the Royals teams that appeared in back-to-back World Series 2014-15. He helped bring Kansas City its first title in 30 years when they defeated the New York Mets in ’15.
The agreement to bring the All-Star first baseman to San Diego will likely be the largest signing in franchise history, per The Athletic’s Dennis Lin.
Hosmer is in the prime of his career and was rumored to be looking for a multi-year deal. He’ll slot into the middle of the order for skipper Andy Green, pairing with slugger Wil Myers for a rebuilding Padres club.
With Hosmer joining the Padres as a four-time Gold Glove winner at first base, Myers will push to the outfield, according to Lin. Myers patrolled the outfield for the majority of his two-year stint with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013-14.
The signing will certainly speed up the Padres’ rebuild. With a team that hasn’t won more than 77 games since 201o and one of the game’s strongest farm systems, the addition of Hosmer makes the Padres a team to keep an eye on for the next handful of summers.
The Padres finished in fifth place of the National League West last season thanks to a 71-91 record. The move caps off an uncharacteristically slow winter, which will hopefully allow more dominoes to fall.
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