So Aaron Schafer was the only person who did any work around here this weekend and thus the “here’s the links” part is going to be rather brief. But I have some time to kill so here’s a quick bit on Eric Hosmer.
The San Diego Padres signed former Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer on Saturday night for a contract worth $144 million over the next eight seasons. The contract is apparently a bit front-loaded, which is to the benefit of Hosmer—essentially, this contract is a five-year, $100 million contract, after which Hosmer, shortly after he turns 33, can choose to become a free agent or he can choose to remain in San Diego for the next three years after that for $44 million total. What he does will almost certainly depend on how productive 2022 Eric Hosmer is.
I did not want the Cardinals to sign Eric Hosmer, and I was loud and occasionally obnoxious about it. I was direct about it in mid-October. In late November, I wrote about how Matt Carpenter is better than Hosmer and that Hosmer added depth but that depth could be added in a much more cost-effective manner. I think this contract is probably a mistake for the Padres, who are probably two or three years from anything resembling contention. But I’m glad it happened.
We tend to evaluate baseball from a team-centric perspective. I fully understand and accept why that is—players change but the St. Louis Cardinals are still the St. Louis Cardinals. But it is the players who ultimately define what we love about the game. The system naturally suppresses salaries of young players—Hosmer, though arguably overrated as a player, has been worth 14.1 career Wins Above Replacement while earning a hair under $31 million, and has been dramatically underpaid given his production—and for players to eventually get paid is a nice consolation prize. It’s a broken system, but I’m happy, even if selfishly that it wasn’t the Cardinals doing it, that a player got paid what he should have gotten paid years ago.
Okay, here’s the links.