The Boston Red Sox were in desperate need of help at first base going into the Major League Baseball trade deadline, and decided to do something about it.
The Red Sox acquired Eric Hosmer along with prospects Max Ferguson (infielder) and Corey Rosier (outfielder) from the San Diego Padres on Tuesday for pitching prospect Jay Groome. The Padres are also reportedly paying a sizable amount of Hosmer’s contract, which is certainly an added plus for the Red Sox in the deal.
But with the 12-year veteran in Hosmer taking hold of the corner infield spot on a presumably every day basis, what will the future at that position look like beyond this season, especially with one of the Red Sox’s top prospects in 22-year-old Triston Casas waiting in the wings at Triple-A Worcester?
It’s a question Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom tried to answer prior to Boston facing the Astros on Tuesday.
“Triston’s timetable will be determined by Triston,” Bloom told reporters, per Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam. “He’s now getting back on track. (Getting Hosmer) allows him to develop at his own pace.”
Hosmer, who batted .272 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs with the Padres this year, has a player-option available following this season, and if he does opt-in, will have three years remaining on his contract at $13 million per season. But with the Padres footing a massive portion of the bill for Hosmer, the first baseman is an inexpensive option for the Red Sox.
Whether that delays Casas’ ascension to the major leagues remains to be seen. It all could be a mute point if Hosmer opts out of his contract, which could result in Casas wearing a Red Sox uniform by next year.
Casas, who recently returned to the WooSox after missing 10 weeks due to a right ankle sprain, is batting .241 on the season with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 45 games. The Red Sox No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, has the potential to blossom into a star at first base, and Boston is looking to keep him in its plans.
“We think he’s going to be a huge part of our future,” Bloom told reporters, per MLB.com’s Ian Browne.