It was announced earlier this week that the Boston Red Sox had re-signed first baseman Mitch Moreland to a two-year deal worth $13M. This almost definitely pulls them out of the running for free agent first baseman, and former Kansas City Royal, Eric Hosmer, which is good for Royals fans.
It was rumored at one point that the Red Sox were going to be Hosmer’s biggest suitors. Pretty much everyone decided that Boston’s interest in the former Royals would price Kansas City out of the Hosmer sweepstakes. Apparently, not even Boston was willing to pay Eric Hosmer the money that agent Scott Boras is seeking. This would suggest that the asking price on Hosmer is far greater than any team is willing to pay for a first baseman who has never hit 30 home runs in a season.
But I have a theory. I have a theory that Eric Hosmer may not cost as much as we originally thought, and it could mean that two Scott Boras agents sign for far less than they had originally hoped.
Here’s my theory: The Boston Red Sox decided that they only had enough money to sign Eric Hosmer OR JD Martinez. They then decided that they would rather have JD Martinez over Eric Hosmer. They signed Mitch Moreland to a two-year deal because he’s played in Boston before and they were comfortable with him in the clubhouse. The hope is that by signing Mitch Moreland, they will threaten Scott Boras with, “We’re not going to pay more than we’re comfortable with for your free agents, we don’t care who they are.” Ideally, Boras will come down on his negotiations for JD Martinez, making him more affordable for the Red Sox who have already proven that they’ll sign someone cheaper if they don’t get a price they’re comfortable with.
Okay, so there’s my theory with JD Martinez and the Red Sox, how does that affect Eric Hosmer?
With the signing of Moreland in Boston, that narrows Hosmer’s market to maybe 4 teams: the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres, and your Kansas City Royals. Cleveland, Philly, and Boston have all moved on to cheaper options and the New York Mets have been linked to freaking Adrian Gonzalez more than Eric Hosmer. With free agents Logan Morrison and Lucas Duda still available, Eric Hosmer isn’t the only first baseman that needs a job among those four teams. His market could continue getting even smaller, and if teams continue to prefer cheaper options (like Mitch Moreland in Boston or Yonder Alonso in Cleveland), Eric Hosmer’s market may be down to only two teams.
I wrote recently about how signing Eric Hosmer doesn’t make sense anymore for the Kansas City Royals. I still believe this to be true. I don’t believe Kansas City will be good enough to compete for an AL Pennant next year even with Eric Hosmer and I don’t think he’ll be worth $20M/year the next time that the Royals are ready to compete. I really think it would be best if Dayton Moore let Hosmer walk, but for those of you who still want Hosmer to return, it’s looking more and more possible every day. If St. Louis reaches out and signs Mike Moustakas soon, leaving Matt Carpenter at first base, the market for Eric Hosmer could really boil down to only two teams, SD and KC, very soon.