No disrespect to Eric Hosmer, but there’s a suspicious set of activities afoot. Like many other free agents, he hasn’t been signed yet despite reportedly having multiple offers on the table from a few different teams. But that’s not the conundrum; that’s just the theme of this entire offseason so far.
The weird thing with Hosmer’s situation in particular has only become apparent in recent days thanks to reports connected to other players and what they are being offered right now. Specifically, the report that J.D. Martinez has been offered only $100 million over five years by the Red Sox.
Knowing that’s apparently the going rate for Martinez, the offers Hosmer supposedly got seem very far-fetched. Which leads me to believe ... maybe they never existed in the first place? To see whether this assumption has any merit, let’s look at the rumors we know about so far.
Back at the turn of the year, there was a rumor that St. Louis could be eyeing Hosmer as a possible infield upgrade. They haven’t made too many moves this offseason (because nobody has) and at the time I graded that rumor on the high end, with the only detraction being that the Cardinals could also be going after Josh Donaldson. So this rumor is very much in play, but no actual offer was attached at the time.
At one point this offseason, the Padres were rumored to be “aggressively pursuing” Hosmer. Later on, there was a (possibly) flimsy report that they had extended Hosmer a $140 million offer for an unspecified amount of years. That’s a pretty good offer though, regardless of years! Especially with the state of things in the free agency market right now.
So why hasn’t he accepted it? Well, there was another team that also supposedly put an offer on the table, so maybe he’s still deciding between them. That team is ...
Kansas City also reportedly offered Hosmer around $140 million for an unspecified number of years. In fact, at $147 million, their supposed offer is higher than San Diego’s and would mean Hosmer gets to stay with the team he’s familiar with. It’s not, by any means, a bad offer either. When you take the offer and the team together, it’s definitely the best offer he’s received so far this offseason.
So even if Hosmer is deciding between these two teams ... it seems like he should have made his choice already before the teams decide he’s not actually worth that much, right? He’s a Scott Boras client, and Boras isn’t an idiot. These are solid contracts and even though they might not be at the top of the salary range they were hoping for, in this climate they’re just fine.
Which brings me back to the Martinez reports. $100 million is far below what he’s worth; we can acknowledge that at least. That $100 million over five years is downright shocking and explains why he’s fine holding out a little to see if he can fix that.
But if Martinez is only getting that ... then does it really make sense for Hosmer to be offered nearly $50 million more than that? When he’s not as productive offensively and only two years younger? I’m not buying it. And even if he did get those offers and has been sitting in his house trying to eeny, meeny, miny, moe his way to a decision, or waiting for an official offer from the Cardinals, once he saw Martinez’s lowballed offer he probably should have jumped on the higher offers he had.
Which doesn’t make sense at all, which then leads me to believe either Boras completely forgot how to be an agent or that the offers never existed. They were both questionable rumors in the first place, so it’s entirely possible that they’re just ghost rumors leaked from Hosmer’s side to try and get the market going.
Nice try, Hos, but it seems like you’re up a creek just like the rest of this free agent class.