The Royals traded Brandon Moss away earlier this week, saving themselves $5 million and leaving pretty much no first basemen on the roster. The move led to speculation that an Eric Hosmer signing was imminent.
Well, apparently agent Scott Boras smells blood in the water, because he’s pushing the limits of reason. According to MLB Network reporter Jon Morosi, the Hosmer camp is still looking for a mega-deal.
Eric Hosmer’s camp has continued pushing for a contract of more than 7 years, source says. [He is a young free agent at age 28.] The #Royals’ need to re-sign him (and capacity to pay him) increased with this week’s Brandon Moss trade. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 31, 2018
Perhaps the camp knows that the Royals have a big fat opening on the field and wants to take advantage of any perceived desperation. Or perhaps this is one last push to get the Royals or the Padres to make their last best offer. The Padres reportedly made a seven-year offer, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, but are not expected to increase it significantly. According to his source, the Padres believe the Royals have topped their offer, which is believed to be far less than $140 million.
The idea of Hosmer getting an eight-year deal seems far-fetched in a normal market, but even moreso in this slow-moving market where top free agents like J.D. Martinez and Yu Darvish still sit unsigned going into February. Sure, Hosmer is young for a free agent, but so was Jason Heyward when the Cubs inked him to an eight-year deal two seasons ago, a deal they immediately regretted. Here is a list of players that have signed contracts of eight years in length or more since 2000: Jason Heyward, Robinson Cano, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, Manny Ramirez, Mike Hampton.
Notice anything about that list? A lot of those deals turned into real stinkers near the end. If Hosmer were to get an eight-year deal, he would be in his age-35 season in the final year. The odds of him still being a highly productive $20 million player seems unlikely, and a small-market club really cannot afford to carry that much in dead money - look at how the Alex Gordon deal has hampered them.
Maybe this posturing is a good sign, an indication this saga is coming to a close. But Scott Boras needs to stop smoking the Prestige Value and sober up to the reality of this free agent market.