Each year, it seems like there are rumors surrounding the Padres that relate to their big contracts. Two, specifically, in Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer. If the Padres were looking to offload Hosmer to save money, could the Mariners be a match? Keep in mind, I’m not saying this is going to happen, I just think that it would take something in this realm to make it happen or get the talks started.
I think that they could, but only if the return was a good value. It makes for a fun proposition. Normally, you have to give up a bit more than you are comfortable with when you are the team that is calling and looking to acquire a player. However, this is a different situation. The Padres are looking to get rid of Hosmer to save some money and get away from the luxury tax. He makes $20 million this upcoming season, and 3-39 through 2025.
Eric Hosmer hasn’t been great for the Padres, and the Mariners could benefit.
He’s been a 2.7 WAR over the last four seasons (0.9, -0.5, 1.3, 1.0), so you can see why the Padres are looking to offload him. Those last three years of his contract are a player option, and with how he’s been playing, it makes sense that he would pick up that option. It would carry him through his age-35 season, and possibly to the end of his career.
His numbers don’t look too bad, hitting .273/.336/.422 over the last two years. It can be hard to give season averages because of the shortened season, but if he were to play 162 games based on what he’s done since the start of 2020, he would project for 18 HR, 87 RBI, 29 2B, and 65 R. It’s not bad, but the defense drops him down.
A tough part is he can only play first and DH. We’ve looked into some options for a solution there throughout the offseason, and it could be worth it for the Mariners to take on Hosmer and his contract in order to further build the team by getting a strong prospect as well.
Hosmer isn’t great, but he would provide the Mariners with a decent bat for the time being. That $13 million a year doesn’t look awful either if you can get 1-2 WAR from Hosmer each season. There’s an outside chance he has a great year and declines the player option years, but I think that is a pretty small likelihood.
You know what though, I still want to give him a chance. I know it’s probably not a great idea. If he stinks, all it’s doing is taking away at-bats from someone like France, Torrens, Haniger, or even Julio Rodriguez… really, anyone who could play first or DH. As Stephen A. Smith would say “HOWEVA”… I kind of think it would be interesting. Trade for Hosmer, play him this year to get another asset alongside him, and if he stinks, trade him away once he is only a 3-39, and even eat some salary.
Currently, he isn’t the type of player that you could receive any type of asset for. In fact, you would have to package him with an asset in order to even get talks started. This is where Robert Hassell comes in. At the end of last season, Hassell was the Padres #3 prospect, and 43rd overall. He’s a 20-year-old centerfielder with great speed and burgeoning power. He threw in the low 90s in high school and has the arm strength to keep runners honest from the outfield.
He had a very impressive season in A-ball last year, before struggling a bit at High-A. That shouldn’t be a worry though, as he didn’t turn 20 until August 15th, so he was a lot younger than the average player there.
If the Mariners were to take on Hosmer, I think they could reasonably ask for Hassell to be a part of the deal. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth taking the risk on Mackenzie Gore, unless they are getting him and Hosmer without giving up anything. The Padres young catcher, Luis Campusano, would be an interesting ask, but I landed on Hassell.
The Padres are once again running into a bit of a jam, with their major league roster full of players who need time, not to mention CJ Abrams who is the #6 prospect in all of baseball, that will be up in 2022 at some point. The Mariners were able to help the Padres alleviate blockage back when they got France/Trammell/Torrens/Munoz. It’s not quite the same, but taking from a healthier and deeper position with the Padres makes it easier to get a Hosmer deal off of their books.
The more I think about it and ask around, Hosmer really is an albatross. I heard from someone that if the Mariners offered Swanson and Cade Marlowe (who I almost included) for Hosmer and Hassell, the Padres would accept before Dipoto even finished the sentence. With that much worry associated with the deal, I bumped it to another pitcher, to go alongside Swanson, with solid upside in Sweet.
Swanson could instantly slot into the Padres bullpen, and give them another piece for the major league roster. We saw him pitch well for a stretch last season, so we know he can be a big piece in the bullpen. Why not dangle that out there for the return from the Padres.
Also coming back from San Diego would be Max Ferguson, who is a speedy and contact-focused second baseman, in the mold of Nick Senzel from the Reds, but much lower on the prospect rankings.
Yeah, the Padres are giving up a lot. Guess what, if they want to get rid of Hosmer, they are going to need to. Hosmer is seen around the league as a massive negative. I had other people tell me that it’s an awful idea for the Mariners to do something like this. I can definitely see that as well, for the stealing of potential ABs from other players.
I like that the Mariners get another outfielder in Hassell and a second baseman in Ferguson. They shore up their infield depth, and Hassell is still a few years away. If Moore and/or Fraley don’t work out, or Haniger leaves, he would be a very exciting piece in 2024.
I already know that some Mariners fans are going to be angry about this, and some Padres fans are gonna think it’s way too much. I don’t think Dipoto would do something like this… but, at the same time, the possibility of finding a bat (even an expensive one that isn’t great) for a great prospect and a promising one could be an interesting conundrum. I don’t think it will happen. I also don’t think I would be too upset if it did.