After the Padres traded for Adam Frazier, they found themselves a bit over the competitive balance tax. The first-time penalty for going over isn’t awful, but they find themselves with too many players, making too much money, who all should be seeing playing time. Could the Mariners take advantage and get two birds with one stone in Eric Hosmer?
It was reported Monday morning that the Padres could be looking to offload Hosmer WITH PROSPECTS in order to get some salary relief. Now, this isn’t just some wild speculation, as it was reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. When I saw this, I instantly thought of the Mariners. Only because it could make for a crazy 12 months.
If they’re willing to take on the contract of Eric Hosmer, it might help the Mariners in the long term.
Here’s the problem with this. If you make this trade, you are essentially signing a free agent first baseman to a 4-57. He’s hitting in the low .260s, with around 20 home runs a year. The homers could go up if he takes some half days by playing DH, but it’s likely a bit of an overpay for a first baseman.
Obviously, the biggest argument against this would be giving up on Evan White. He’s signed through 2028 and would fall by the wayside if they acquired Hosmer.
The only way I see this working is taking on Hosmer this year while getting some good prospect value. You hope he plays well enough that you can, in turn, trade him away next year to someone who needs a first baseman. His contract will be a lot smaller by then, as the last three years are 3-36. With the amount of cap space the Mariners have, they could eat some salary in lieu of trading prospects with him.
Would it be possible? Yeah. Could it easily go bad? Yes, that could happen too. Think of Dipoto though. You know he’s salivating at the potential opportunity to take on Hosmer, get prospects, and then trade away Hosmer next summer. The road to short-term solving first base, gaining prospects, and then dumping Hosmer is there… it’s just a thin and treacherous one.
Here’s what I’m thinking the Mariners should do that could benefit the Padres, and the Mariners, both in the short-term and long-term.
Lawson is 7th, and Thompson is 10th in the Padres prospect rankings. Thompson could be ready as a reliever for next season, and Lawson could be a late-season starting pitcher depending on his TJ recovery. What we would be looking at are two impact pitchers that could play next year for Seattle, as well as Hosmer, who solves the offensive woes of first base. This allows for Eric Hosmer, France, Moore, Long to rotate around 1st/2nd/LF/DH, allowing them all to stay fresh.
We send out Bauers, whose cheap contract would be a nice bench piece for the Padres, while also sending a low-level pitcher in Dollard. I can’t stress enough, I only see this happening if Dipoto thinks he can flip Hosmer next season sometime. If something like this happens, especially if San Diego is trading away significant value as per Rosenthal, then… well, I actually might be happy if this happens.
Another great pitching prospect that could join the Gilbert/Kirby/Hancock potential trio. A big nasty bullpen arm. I’m worried, cause the more I think about it, the more I might be okay with it. For the Padres, it saves them a ton of money, and frees up the infielders that they want playing to actually have enough playing time to do so.
It might just be because I love playing Franchise Mode in MLB the Show, and enjoy playing the GM. If the money is available, and Dipoto thinks he could flip Hosmer next summer, I wouldn’t put anything past him.