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Rumor grade: The Padres are “aggressively pursuing” Eric Hosmer

San Diego isn’t the only team interested in him right now though.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Kansas City Royals Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images

We’ve already talked a bit about the other top first baseman on the free agency market this offseason in Carlos Santana, but now let’s turn our attention to the undisputed top first baseman available in Eric Hosmer.

The rumor

Eric Hosmer reportedly met with Padres representatives about possibly finding a home in San Diego. According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the two sides met Thursday to discuss Hosmer signing there as part of an “aggressive pursuit” by San Diego.

Why it makes sense for the Padres

It doesn’t really, in that they already have a first baseman in Wil Myers who isn’t a free agent until 2023. He has reportedly agreed to move back to the outfield (which he played consistently up until a few seasons ago), but as Buster Olney points out that isn’t exactly the move a team should want him to make.

Plus, the Padres are in the middle of rebuilding. They didn’t land Shohei Ohtani, so they don’t have any clear reason why they should add a huge contract to their roster at this point in their recovery cycle. Could they even compete if they did add Hosmer? Maybe so, maybe not.

However, it’s also the Padres, and if they rationalize it as “signing a vet that could help in the rebuild” rather than “signing a first baseman they don’t really need” they’d definitely go for this. Even if it’s not the perfect signing right now.

Why it makes sense for Eric Hosmer

Well, the money first off. But the Padres aren’t the only team that could pony up the (probably too much) money to have Hosmer as their first baseman. The Red Sox are another one of those teams, and according to Peter Gammons at The Athletic, they have expressed interest on top of their potential interest in J.D. Martinez and Jose Abreu.

But for the Padres specifically, Hosmer could be part of a rebuilding effort that could actually be going somewhere. Plus, if the Red Sox find a first baseman elsewhere and the Royals don’t want to pay up for what Hosmer’s camp is asking, the Padres might be his only chance to get the payday he’s looking for.

(Just kidding, the Royals are definitely going to be fine with breaking the piggybank, even if they shouldn’t.)

But the point stands that there aren’t many teams that need or want Hosmer right now, and even fewer that are going to hit his salary demands.

Rumor grade

C. This all feels like a massive ruse to get the Red Sox to pay more money than they need to to land Hosmer. We’ll sit here for a couple of days going back and forth between which team wants Hosmer more and then he’s going to go to Boston and hopefully be productive more than half of next season.

But that doesn’t meant the Padres don’t have aggressive interest in Hosmer, or that they didn’t meet. Just because the final outcome doesn’t seem realistic doesn’t mean that the entire rumor should be thrown out with the bathwater.

The Padres almost definitely met with him and have interest, so let’s give this a solid C and call it a day.