The Padres and Rangers discussed first baseman Eric Hosmer in trade talks last summer, as part of broader pre-deadline negotiations that also reportedly involved Padres prospect Robert Hassell and then-Rangers slugger Joey Gallo. It isn’t any secret that San Diego has been trying to get Hosmer’s contract off the books, though The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reports that Texas still wanted the Padres to cover the majority of the salary owed to Hosmer ($59MM from 2022-25). The exact numbers involved in the proposed trade isn’t known, and obviously the inclusion of Gallo (paid $6.2MM last season and projected to earn $10.2MM in 2022) was a major factor in the financial elements of any deal.
Since Gallo ended up being traded to the Yankees at the deadline, it remains to be seen if the Padres could revisit a more streamlined version of a Hosmer trade with the Rangers once the lockout is over, with Hassell perhaps included as a sweetener to convince Texas to absorb a larger chunk of Hosmer’s salary. Of course, the equation has now changed quite a bit for a Rangers team that has already added Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Jon Gray in a pre-lockout spending spree. While the Rangers still have payroll space, they might prefer to spend on a player who can more readily help them contend in 2022. Hosmer has been roughly a league-average hitter over his last four seasons, and Texas already has a left-handed hitting first baseman in Nathanial Lowe who might be a better candidate to out-perform Hosmer at the plate (and at a fraction of Hosmer’s price tag).
More from the American League…
- The Royals used a bumper crop of homegrown talent to capture the 2015 World Series, and are now trying to reload with a new wave of minor leaguers. General manager J.J. Picollo tells The Kansas City Star’s Lynn Worthy that “I feel like this group is just a tad more deep” than the core of the 2014-15 pennant-winning rosters, and in particular more depth when it comes to starting pitching. Former first-round picks Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, Jackson Kowar, and Daniel Lynch have already cracked the majors, and Picollo cited even two more waves of younger arms that could be coming next. All of this depth could manifest itself as cornerstone pieces of the next K.C. rotation, or perhaps as trade chips — as Worthy notes, the Royals dealt several notable pitching prospects while building their last championship team.
- With Gary Sanchez’s future a constant topic of discussion in the Bronx, many Yankees fans see Austin Wells as a potential Sanchez replacement behind the plate as early as the 2023 season. However, the proverbial “catcher of the future” might not necessarily remain as a catcher, according to Yankees VP of player development Kevin Reese. “Depending on where some of our other guys are, there might be an opportunity to get him some reps (at other positions)….Then we might have to get a little bit creative to keep his bat in the lineup. But none of that is a concern about his catching,” Reese told The New York Daily News’ Kristie Ackert. Wells has been seen as a potential candidate to move to first base or a corner outfield spot even before the Yankees drafted him 28th overall in 2020, and while one AL scout feels a position change will still happen, he credited Wells for improving his throwing arm and his framing. Wherever he ends up on the diamond, Wells has shown signs that his bat will play at any position — Wells batted .264/.390/.476 with 16 homers over 469 plate appearances in his first pro season (at the A-ball and high-A levels), and then turned heads with a big performance in Arizona Fall League action.