Much of the Major League Baseball off-season has consisted of a “wait and see” approach. For many fans this has been dredged up through an outcry of necessary action and an overwhelming belief that there exists collusion within the game for a number of big time free-agent stars, waiting for the right team, the right contract, or the right moment.
Thankfully, this belief has diminished a bit as over the past couple of weeks, to include the last couple of days, some of the biggest free-agents are, in fact, no longer free-agents. While there are still some well-known players available, it’s important to observe what has most recently happened in the chaotic circus of the offseason.
Eric Hosmer finds a new home in San Diego:
After weeks of talk of possible teams which had interest in Hosmer as well as where Hosmer himself was hoping to sign, the San Diego Padres emerged as a late entry dark horse to the sweepstakes and ultimately won.
The Padres were, realistically, one of the last teams that most people figured would have any legitimate shot to sign Eric Hosmer, but they somehow pulled off a mega-deal. The deal itself is a massive eight-years, with a player opt-out after the fifth year, worth a total of $139 million. It figures out to an $18 million AAV.
The deal is an interesting one. Upon watching and following Hosmer, he seems like he is one of the best first basemen in all of Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, this is just not true. Hosmer has been worth a total of 9.9 wins above replacement in his career up to this point. In 2017, he posted a career high in all numbers, including WAR with 4.1.
Playing in a contract year helped Hosmer to elevate his numbers. He finished with a line of .318/.385/.498, also all career highs.
One positive piece about Hosmer is his durability over the past three seasons. In that time, he has averaged 159 games per season, which is a real positive for the Padres. In 2017, Hosmer played in all 162 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the addition of Hosmer. Wil Myers has already made it known that he is happy to contribute in the outfield, while Hosmer slides into first. The sentiment is sweet, however, Myers has been horrendous in his time in the outfield, to the tune of a cumulative -16 Defensive Runs Saved. It also includes his -5.5 Ultimate Zone Rating while patrolling the outfield.
Nonetheless, the Padres are a young team filled with a ton of prospect talent which, for their sake, will continue to transition to success on the field. Eric Hosmer will aim to be the nucleus and help them to reach victory in 2018.
J.D. Martinez is officially Boston bound:
The saga with J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox is officially over. The Red Sox made a significant offer a few months prior to Martinez and thus began a drawn-out game of cat and mouse which came to a head on Monday.
Needless to say, the deal is now complete and baseball fans, especially Red Sox fans, can breathe easier knowing that the power bat the team so desperately needed to keep pace with Judge, Stanton, and the Yankees is finally there. According to reports, the deal is a five-year deal worth $110 million with two opt-out clauses, after the second and third seasons.
After a trade to the Diamondbacks last season, Martinez absolutely mashed for them. When the season was all said and done, he had reached a new career high in home runs (45) and RBI’s (104). Martinez also posted a 3.8 WAR and slugged .690.
Over the past four seasons, Martinez has produced a .392 wOBA and a 148 wRC+, both of which are phenomenal.
As the outfield is set for the Red Sox heading into 2018, Martinez will primarily fill the DH role and bring a ferocious bat to a lineup which already consists of Mookie Betts, Xander Boegarts, Rafael Devers, and Andrew Benintendi. The Red Sox should be a fun team to watch in 2018.
Spring Training games officially start this upcoming Friday which is an exciting thing to think about. Baseball is back. As we inch closer to the start of both those games as well as Opening Day it will be interesting to keep an eye out for the remaining big names on the market as teams continue attempting to land the final few big fish.