Detroit Tigers: Could Eric Hosmer bring more than just a hefty contract?

(Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports)
(Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers are approaching the 2021 trade deadline, and the expectation is that they will be sellers. There have been some rumors scuttling about maybe going after Trevor Story. However, if the Tigers are going to go after someone, it should be a somewhat familiar face.

The Detroit Tigers should consider bringing on first baseman Eric Hosmer from the San Diego Padres. It sounds a bit radical, but there is a little theory behind it that would ultimately help the Tigers add more to the future.

Hosmer is a serviceable player; he has not been the all-star, Gold-glove winning, and Silver Slugger player that he once was with the Kansas City Royals, but he would not be a bad addition. The Padres have been rumored to be shopping Hosmer, and it makes sense.

In 2018, Hosmer signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres, and now it seems like they are looking to move him to free up some money if possible. The Tigers should be considering the trade, knowing it would give them Hosmer plus a top-tier prospect.

The Detroit Tigers should be considering trading for Eric Hosmer.

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It sounds ludicrous and pretty much is in the grand scheme of things. But, to play devil’s advocate, the team should also be highly intrigued in a Hosmer trade. He’s a left-handed bat who could get plugged into the lineup, and more importantly, he would come with a sweetener.

It’s thought that the Padres will have to part ways with one of the team’s top four prospects. Looking at MLB dot com’s list, the two most valuable to the Tigers would likely be Robert Hassell or C.J. Abrams, both of the Padres first-rounders from the past two seasons.

If the Tigers added Hosmer, who’s slashing .266/.330/.381 with eight home runs and 48 RBI on the year while also bringing in a solid shortstop prospect or an exciting young outfielder; who was committed to Vanderbilt, I’d label it as a “win.”

While the salary does raise some concerns, the team does have Spencer Torkelson in the pipeline mashing baseballs on his way to Comerica Park, but who’s to say he is not able to be a third baseman?

It’s a radical move, but it adds a big piece in the form of Abrams or Hassell, who would immediately be one of the team’s top prospects. It makes an exciting farm system even more exciting and heavy at the top.

Hosmer could also possibly become a designated hitter after Cabrera’s days are over, but his glove is pretty good and one that would be solid over at first.  As it stands, Hosmer is slated to make $20 million in 2022, where he then has a player opt-out.

If he were to opt-out, it should be viewed as a win, the team would pay him a lot next year, but it seems like 2023 is the year rather than 2022. It will be the 2023 season when things drastically change. So one year of Hosmer while bringing in Abrams or Hassell is really not that bad all-told.

But, if Hosmer opts in, he will make $13 million over the last three seasons of his deal through 2025 and become a free agent in 2026. Not the most ideal situation, but man, is it hard to pass up a team looking to shed a contract that’s possibly going to part ways with a top-five prospect.

As I said, it is a radical move, one that’s going to be met with a lot of negative reactions, but it seems like there is an upside when a team can add another top-tier prospect in as they near the end of the rebuild and players start to fall into roles.

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As the trade deadline nears, the Tigers should be considering all their options, and making an offer to take Eric Hosmer off the Padres’ hands should be something under consideration.