Red Sox’s Trade With Padres Netted Boston More Than Just Eric Hosmer

The Red Sox also acquired a pair of prospects from San Diego


August 3

The Red Sox not only acquired first baseman Eric Hosmer in Tuesday’s pre-deadline trade with the San Diego Padres. They also landed two prospects — infielder Max Ferguson and outfielder Corey Rosier — whom chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom feels good about adding to Boston’s pipeline.

“Both of these guys are plus-runners, good athletes — Ferguson an infielder and Rosier an outfielder,” Bloom told reporters Tuesday night. “Both really interesting, lower-level prospects with good athleticism and really interesting broad base of skills.”

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Hosmer obviously is the focal point of Tuesday’s trade, which came together after the 32-year-old refused to waive his no-trade clause as part of the Padres’ blockbuster with the Washington Nationals for superstar outfielder Juan Soto. The Red Sox are hopeful Hosmer will solve their first base woes — at a low cost, no less, seeing as the Padres reportedly are paying for most of his remaining contract.

But the other aspects of the deal are worth noting, too. The Red Sox traded away pitching prospect Jay Groome, a 2016 first-round pick, while landing the two aforementioned minor leaguers to strengthen their organizational depth.

Ferguson, 22, was the Padres’ No. 23 prospect, according to Baseball America. The 2021 fifth-round pick totaled 55 stolen bases in 91 games split between Single-A Lake Elsinore and High-A Fort Wayne this season before the trade. Speed clearly is his calling card.

“Ferguson combines plus speed with elite basestealing instincts to be one of the most dangerous baserunners in the minors,” Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser wrote Tuesday. “He reads pitchers well, gets excellent jumps and is rarely thrown out. His 55 stolen bases have come in 60 attempts this year across both Class A levels. Ferguson has a contact-oriented approach and needs to get significantly stronger to hit enough. He?s hitting just .221 and mostly takes his walks to get on base. Ferguson is a solid defender at second base and can fill in at shortstop as needed. He has enough athleticism and instincts to potentially bounce around the diamond. Ferguson’s speed gives him a plus tool to lean on, but he’s going to have to make harder contact to rise as a utilityman.”

Rosier, 22, was unranked by Baseball America, but the Friars thought enough of the 2021 12th-round pick to include him in their return package for Adam Frazier last November. He, like Ferguson, is known for having wheels.

“(Rosier) is a contact-oriented hitter with a fluid left-handed swing and a keen eye for the strike zone,” Glaser wrote. “He has plus-plus speed he uses to steal bases and cover ground in center field, where he is an above-average defender. Rosier has well below-average power and has to prove he can make consistent quality contact against better pitching. If he can, he’ll have a chance to be a backup outfielder.”

All in all, the trade has the potential to be a huge win for the Red Sox. Because while Hosmer regressed in his five seasons with the Padres after leaving the Kansas City Royals, with whom he earned an All-Star selection and four Gold Glove Awards, he’s still a low-risk upgrade at a position of need.

There had been talk in recent years of Boston pursuing Hosmer, perhaps with an eye toward absorbing his contract while acquiring a top-tier prospect. Instead, the Red Sox obtained Hosmer and a couple of fleet-footed prospects without much of a financial commitment.

“There were so many possibilities that we contemplated, and a lot of possibilities that we were ready for that we didn’t get a chance to contemplate because they may not have been there,” Bloom said of the Red Sox’s negotiations with the Padres. “But chances are if you can think of it, we thought about it and in many cases pursued it. It ultimately comes down to what the best path is for both clubs and where you agree.”

Hosmer hit eight home runs with 40 RBIs and a .272/.336/.391 slash line in 90 games (369 plate appearances) this season with San Diego.

Thumbnail photo via Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Images
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