2. Eric Hosmer
Can the Yankees and Padres pull off the MLB equivalent of the James Harden trade?
No, not the first one, the other one.
Eric Hosmer’s “onerous” contract isn’t all that untenable in the modern MLB landscape. He’s making “just” $18 million per year for the next four seasons.
The main issue with importing Hosmer isn’t his deal (or, at least, it shouldn’t be); the issue is he hasn’t been the player that his reputation claims he is.
Hosmer’s supposed clutch gene and 2017 powerhouse season (133 OPS+) cover for the fact that he’s been mostly powerless since, hitting 12 home runs with a .732 OPS and 104 OPS+ last season in San Diego at the age of 31. He hit 22 bombs in 2019, his second full season as a Padre … and yet he only posted a 94 OPS+ relative to his peers. Remember the 2019 rocket ball? That should lay things out for you pretty plainly, in case you forgot!
Who are we kidding? You’re a Yankee fan. You didn’t forget.
Hosmer’s playoff experience is also plainly overrated; during the 2015 title run, he hit .190, .250, and .190 in the three rounds of KC’s championship drive. There are worse players in baseball than Hosmer, a four-time Gold Glover and a gamer. But if the Yankees are going to absorb the contract in full, San Diego will need to include a top prospect as well, something they’ve explored in the past. How about Hos and 20-year-old top-10 prospect Joshua Mears for four Yankees prospects, two in the top 10?
Oh, and Hosmer’s hard-hit percentage (79th percentile) and average exit velocity (73rd) were actually quite solid last year. Easy to see that slipping by the goalie, but it’s true. This would be difficult to endorse (especially with the other names on the table), but this move could easily be bleaker.