The Red Sox have a lot of questions to answer this offseason including figuring out whether Eric Hosmer belongs in their future plans.
Boston traded for the veteran first baseman ahead of this year’s Major League Baseball trade deadline after Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero struggled mightily both offensively and defensively. Hosmer immediately provided a defensive upgrade at first base for the Red Sox, but he ended up getting hurt and was placed on the injured list.
Then there was the emergence of Triston Casas, who was recalled from Triple-A Worcester in September. While his offensive numbers didn’t impress right out of the gate, Casas did show plenty of plate patience, drew some walks and began to hit mammoth home runs. The defense was there; we knew that when the prospect was promoted. It was his offense that needed some work.
But with a Red Sox full spring training ahead of Casas, it begs the question of what they will do with Hosmer.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” manager Alex Cora told reporters, per The Athletic. “There’s a lot of conversations, stuff we have to do in the offseason. I’ll leave that to the front office. But as a manager, he’s a guy you really like in the clubhouse. He brings a presence. I don’t know what the future holds here with everything that’s going to happen and where we’re going. But we like him.”
The Red Sox do have Hosmer on a steal of a deal, paying only MLB’s minimum while the San Diego Padres retained close to all of his $44 million salary. He easily could make a desirable trade chip, but Hosmer also could provide a nice veteran presence in the dugout and add some insurance at first base with Casas. The two already have a relationship that goes beyond their brief time together in Boston.
Hosmer returned to the Red Sox lineup Tuesday after a two-month stint on the IL and went 1-for-3 in Boston’s rained-shortened 6-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.
It figures to be a busy offseason for the Red Sox and it will begin earlier than last year as the regular-season finale is set for Wednesday afternoon against the Rays. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET and you can catch all the action beginning at 3 p.m. on NESN.