2. San Diego Padres: Eric Hosmer
Woah! “This is never going to happen, you idiot!” I can see the comments now. And you’re probably right! But the Padres aren’t going to look to make the Dodgers significantly better (and vice versa). The two sides need to tactically discover how they can get an edge without making it too obvious.
If LA whiffs on Freddie Freeman and Matt Olson (assuming both are on their radar), is it really that crazy to consider Eric Hosmer, who the Padres are desperately trying to trade to get more payroll flexibility? They’re even willing to include a top prospect in the deal!
Though Hosmer’s underwhelming 2021 has the town talking about his regression, don’t jump on that train just yet. It could’ve very well just been an unlucky season for the veteran because he was in the upper percentiles for average exit velocity, max exit velocity, hard hit percentage, expected batting average and strikeout percentage. Clearly another story to be told!
On top of that, he’s a durable player, having appeared in at least 151 games eight times out of the last 10 seasons, with one of those misses being the shortened 2020 (so, really eight of the last nine). With uncertainty surrounding Max Muncy’s partially torn UCL as well as the upcoming arrival of the Universal DH, this could check a number of boxes and give manager Dave Roberts more lineup flexibility.
Hosmer has luxury tax hits of $21 million, $13 million, $13 million and $13 million through 2025, but the Pads have expressed a willingness to eat some of that salary if the Dodgers want to go that route. If not, the Dodgers can easily take on that money since they will have another roster exodus after 2022 or 2023. If you ask us, we take all the money and a top-five prospect from the Padres in a deal that might cost us two top-15 guys, or one top-10 and one top-15? Not sure what this would really look like, but it’s worth exploring and it’d be nice to capitalize off AJ Preller’s desperation.