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San Diego Padres general manager AJ Preller is still busy making trades, but his biggest one won’t involve Eric Hosmer.
According to MLB.com Mark FeinsardHosmer invoked his no-trade clause to reject a deal that would have sent him to the Washington Nationals as part of the package that sends Juan Soto and Josh Bell back to San Diego.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan detailed the trade:
According to Feinsand, the Padres are still trying to figure out what they want to do with Hosmer before Tuesday’s trade deadline at 6 p.m. ET.
John Heyman @Jon Heyman
The Padres are expected to look to trade Hosmer to one of the 19 teams not currently on the no-trade list. There has been some interest over the past couple of years, from the Cubs, Rangers and others https://t.co/fLCtiJAKOl
Jim Bowden of CBS Sports HQ noted that the deal between Washington and San Diego is not contingent on Hosmer’s approval.
After the Padres acquired Adam Frazier from the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2021 season, rumors began to circulate about Hosmer’s future with the organization.
Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic reported on July 26 that the 32-year-old’s name “has come up in recent trade discussions.”
Instead, the Padres kept Hosmer for the rest of the season. Frazier was completed and traded to the Seattle Mariners on November 27th.
There are several reasons why the Padres are exploring trading the four-time Gold Glove winner. He has never been a consistent player, especially in the power department. He are ranked 22nd of 26 qualified first basemen in slugging percentage (.395) and 24th in FanGraphs wins above replacement (0.0) through the 2021 season.
So far in 2022, Hosmer classes 21st out of 26 first basemen in FanGraphs’ WAR (0.4) and 24th in slugging percentage (.391).
There was speculation leading up to the start of this season that the Padres and New York Mets were deep in discussions about a deal involving Hosmer.
Per SNY’s Andy Martino, the Padres were going to deal Hosmer, Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagan to the Mets in exchange for Dominic Smith. San Diego would also send $25-30 million to the Mets to cover a portion of Hosmer’s remaining salary.
The deal never materialized, with Martino noting that the Mets ultimately decided they didn’t want to do that.
After a fast start this season, Hosmer has settled right into where he’s been throughout his career. The four-time Gold Glove winner is hitting .272/.336/.391 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 90 games.
Hosmer was supposed to be a key part of San Diego’s rebuild when he signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with the team as a free agent in February 2018. He is are due $20 million in 2022 and $13 million each season through 2023-24. The deal does include an opt-out after the 2022 campaign.
Moving Hosmer now would give him a chance for a fresh start with a new organization. The Padres appear to have a lot of financial flexibility with the addition of Soto and Bell to their already existing roster classes fifth in MLB in payroll expenses ($221.3 million).
Hosmer’s actual performance has rarely matched his reputation, especially based on the contract he originally signed with the Padres four years ago. He’s only worth at least one win above replacement four times in 11 seasons, per FanGraphs.
When the Padres signed Hosmer, it was the first indication that things would begin to be different for the franchise. Since then they have become one of the most aggressive teams in MLB in terms of trades and signings.
Now that the Padres look poised to join the NL pecking order, Hosmer suddenly finds himself as the odd man out and possibly on his way to a new team before the trade deadline.