The Padres’ signing of Eric Hosmer “is the most inexplicable move of the offseason,” Keith Law of ESPN opines (Insider required). Despite only bidding against the Royals for Hosmer, the Padres significantly overpaid for Hosmer in handing him an eight-year, $144MM guarantee, writes Law, who doesn’t expect the player to justify the cost. Hosmer has endured an inconsistent career, hasn’t lived up to the considerable hype he had as a prospect, and isn’t enough of an impact player to help turn around the Padres’ fortunes, Law contends. Further, adding Hosmer and bumping Wil Myers from first back to the outfield is unlikely to benefit the latter, who “will probably become an adequate-not-good player” in the grass, as opposed to the “good-not-great player” he was at first base, Law offers. While Law is bullish on the Padres’ overall direction, he regards this signing as a “baffling misstep” by their front office.
More from the majors’ West divisions:
- The Rockies have continued to keep in touch with Scott Boras in regards to free agent outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, general manager Jeff Bridich told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on Sunday (Twitter link). Ian Desmond, Gerardo Parra and David Dahl rank as the Rockies’ most prominent corner outfielders at the moment, but all three come with question marks. Desmond was subpar last year, Parra is out several weeks after undergoing hand surgery (and hasn’t been particularly good as a Rockie) and Dahl didn’t play in the majors at all in 2017 on account of a rib cage injury. Meanwhile, Gonzalez posted the worst season of his career – which helps explain why he’s still available – though he went on a tear in September (.377/.484/.766 in 93 plate appearances) to end on a high note.
- Injuries tore through the Mariners’ rotation last season, and their starting depth is already being put to the test early this year. Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times was among those to report (Twitter links). It’s only a precautionary measure by the Mariners, according to Divish, though it obviously makes for a less-than-ideal start to the year for their staff. The Mariners haven’t done anything to upgrade their rotation since last season concluded, but GM Jerry Dipoto has insisted he’s content with the group. If healthy, Ramirez will slot in fourth in the quintet in front of either Marco Gonzales or Ariel Miranda and behind James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake. Ramirez made 19 starts with the Mariners and Rays last year and pitched to a 4.74 ERA/4.71 FIP across that 100 2/3-inning span.
- Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin was featured in trade rumors over the winter, but no deal has materialized to this point. Corbin’s “glad” to still be with the team, he tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. One reason the D-backs didn’t pull the trigger on a trade is because they were concerned about finding an adequate replacement, Piecoro notes. Corbin was a key part of their staff last year, when he totaled 3.0 fWAR and recorded a 4.03 ERA in 189 2/3 innings.
- The friendship relievers Mark Melancon and Tony Watson forged during their time together in Pittsburgh from 2013-16 helped the Giants land Watson, Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News writes. Melancon explained Saturday that he had been trying to recruit Watson since last fall, saying: “I think I did, I’ve been pitching at him for the entire offseason and even prior to that. When he was in LA, I was like, ‘We need you over here now.’ So since September of last year I think.” Now that he’s teammates again with Watson, Melancon “couldn’t be more ecstatic.”