Padres GM A.J. Preller said at yesterday’s press conference to introduce Eric Hosmer that Hosmer’s openness to new data was a key component in signing him (link via Dennis Lin of The Athletic). “[H]e’s a guy with an inquisitive mind,” said Preller. “Those are things that, when we sat down with him, were important to us.” Many have suggested that Hosmer, one of the league leaders in ground-ball rate, could more consistently tap into his power and become a more reliable offensive weapon were he to adopt a more fly-ball-oriented approach.
Regarding the divide between Hosmer’s four Gold Glove Awards and his poor ratings from Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating, manager Andy Green noted that those metrics don’t account for Hosmer’s ability to pick low throws, nor do they account for “organizational philosophy on (defensive) positioning.” Lin also spoke to Padres lefty Matt Strahm, who teamed with Hosmer in Kansas City before being traded to San Diego last summer. Strahm referred to Hosmer as “Superman” and noted that Hosmer “literally can pull all 25 guys in a clubhouse together, and I’ve never seen that.”
More notes on the division…
- The Giants and Madison Bumgarner have mutual interest in working out an extension eventually, GM Bobby Evans told MLB Network’s Jon Morosi on SiriusXM radio (Twitter link). However, Evans also noted that the two sides aren’t presently in active negotiations on a new deal, nor is there a timeline to begin those talks. Spring Training is typically the prime time for teams to discuss long-term pacts and extensions with their players, though, so it stands to reason that the Giants will be in touch with Bumgarner’s reps at the Legacy Agency over the next few weeks. San Francisco doesn’t necessarily need to feel a rush to extend the 28-year-old Bumgarner, who can be controlled through 2019 as it is, but working out a long-term deal next spring when he’s just a year from the open market could prove difficult. Bumgarner is earning $12MM in 2018, and the Giants have a $12MM club option on his 2019 season as well.
- The slow-moving free agent market at least prompted the Rockies to reassess the available options recently, GM Jeff Bridich told Nick Groke of the Denver Post, but Bridich didn’t sound like he was itching to make further additions to his club. “Nothing prompted us or sparked any sort of action because we feel if we’re healthy, we have a strong position group,” said Bridich. The GM did note that Carlos Gonzalez and Mark Reynolds are both players whom the Rockies “have spent a decent amount of time staying in touch with,” though both still remain available in free agency. Bridich also said that the team is open to in-season extension talks for Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu, both of whom are set to hit the open market after the current season. The same holds true of Nolan Arenado, though he’s controlled through 2019.
- Following the Diamondbacks’ acquisition of Steven Souza from the Rays, D-backs GM Mike Hazen tells the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro that his team’s “heavy lifting is done.” As Piecoro notes, this week’s pickups of Souza and Jarrod Dyson will push the team’s payroll into the $130MM vicinity — an easy club record. But, the team is focused on winning right now, with Paul Goldschmidt still under control for two more seasons and still in his prime. Piecoro also suggests that the D-backs “seem ready to move on” from Yasmany Tomas, who is owed another $46MM as part of the ill-fated six-year, $68.5MM contract he signed before the 2015 season.