The Padres have aggressively pursued free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer this offseason, but with the team not ready to contend, the organization is split on whether it would be wise to sign him, Buster Olney of ESPN reports. As of the Winter Meetings, the Padres “were prepared to invest” roughly six years and $120MM in Hosmer, according to executives who spoke with Olney. That would easily surpass Wil Myers’ six-year, $83MM pact as the largest in Padres history, though it would be a questionable investment for a team that could take at least a couple more seasons to return to the playoffs. By then, Hosmer (currently 28) may be out of his prime.
More rumblings from Olney:
- The Orioles reportedly don’t expect to trade Manny Machado, but they’re still more open than ever to moving him, writes Olney. As such, Olney doesn’t rule out a deal coming together, especially with Machado’s value being higher now than it will be over the summer. At the same time, it “seems a distinct possibility” the O’s will keep Machado through next season because of owner Peter Angelos’ reluctance to rebuild, Olney suggests. In that scenario, Machado would depart as a free agent, presumably after receiving and rejecting a qualifying offer, and the Orioles would only get draft compensation in return.
- Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins has suggested on multiple occasions this winter that the club won’t trade third baseman Josh Donaldson prior to the season. Indeed, the Jays “fully intend” to start the year with Donaldson on their roster, per Olney. After missing the playoffs in 2017, Toronto is not ready to rebuild; rather, it’ll attempt to return to its 2015-16 form in the final season of Donaldson’s contract.
- The Red Sox continue to have interest in the best hitter available in free agency, outfielder J.D. Martinez. But an agreement doesn’t seem imminent, as Olney relays they’re willing to wait out agent Scott Boras if necessary. There aren’t many clear suitors for Martinez outside of Boston, thanks in part to some teams trying to avoid the luxury-tax threshold and others rebuilding, which could make it difficult for Boras to drive up the price for Martinez.