As the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings wrap up, teams are homing in on their targets. And it appears the San Diego Padres have a man in mind.
The Padres have emerged as the “clear-cut favorites” to sign free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reported Thursday morning. The Boston Red Sox still are in the mix for Hosmer, per Nightengale, but San Diego reportedly is the front-runner after meeting face-to-face twice with the former Kansas City Royal.
Hosmer is one of the bigger free agent names on the market this winter and a player the Red Sox reportedly could be interested in as they search for a power bat. The 28-year-old has amassed 50 home runs and 198 RBIs over his last two seasons, and he posted a career-high .318 batting average last season while winning his fourth career Gold Glove Award at first base.
San Diego is coming off a 71-91 campaign and seems like a strange destination for a high-profile free agent like Hosmer. But the Padres are attracted to Hosmer’s potential as a “culture-changer” for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in over a decade, according to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Hosmer, who won a World Series title with the Royals in 2015, could seek a deal upward of $150 million.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images
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