Per Jesse Rogers, the Cubs have reached agreement with former Padres and Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer. The Cubs are only on the hook for the minimum salary because the Padres are paying Hosmer’s remaining salary after eating the money to trade him to Boston last season.
Eric Hosmer is in agreement with the Cubs, sources tell ESPN. @JonHeyman mentioned they were close yesterday.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) January 4, 2023
This isn’t the kind of move that will make the Cubs dramatically better, but it should raise their floor slightly and it’s definitely an upgrade over their rotating cast of characters from last season. Hosmer should not block Matt Mervis, who broke out last season across three levels of the minors and the Arizona Fall League, though having a veteran around provides a safety net in the event that Mervis struggles.
For what it’s worth, I think Mash will be just fine.
The Cubs have always sought out strong clubhouse presences as well, and Hosmer has been lauded for his leadership in spite of what some recent reports may indicate. Some around San Diego may not have been happy with the way Hosmer used his no-trade power to veto a move to the last-place Nationals, hence being shipped to Boston in an expensive swap for the Pads. Most of us would have done the same thing, particularly if the environment in San Diego had gotten a little toxic.
It’s one thing to have your team pay to get rid of you, but it’s quite another to play for a full season or even more under constant rumors to that same effect. We often talk about athletes who could benefit from a change of scenery, and Hosmer is one such player. In addition to possibly feeling more relaxed in general, his limited power will play up at Wrigley and his high-groundball attack should be aided by the new shift rules.
At the end of the day, there’s no such thing as a bad minimum deal.